SAN FRANCISCO – With star teammate Stephen Curry sidelined, Klay Thompson kept shooting and took care of the offensive load the Golden State Warriors were missing without their reigning NBA Finals MVP.
Thompson scored 42 points with a season-high 12 3-pointers, Jordan Poole added 21 points and career-best 12 assists starting in Curry's place, and the Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 141-114 on Monday night.
“It was a beautiful game to watch him play,” Draymond Green said of Thompson.
“... We needed it. It’s been a while since we had a blowout win. It's good to get this one, especially first game with Steph out. It was good to start off on this foot and try to create some momentum."
Thompson sat down for the night to a roaring ovation with 4:41 left to finish 15 for 22 from the floor and 12 of 16 on 3s. Thompson now has eight games with 10 or more 3-pointers, second in NBA history behind Splash Brother Curry's 22.
“This is a confidence booster for sure to play without him, but to see the performance of the team, amazing individual performances we got,” coach Steve Kerr said. "It was a feel-good game for a lot of people and that just really fuels everybody. Hopefully we can keep that going.”
Andrew Wiggins scored 18 points in Golden State's first game since losing Curry to a left leg injury late in the third quarter of Saturday's win against Dallas — and the Warriors went 26 of 50 from deep without the league's career 3-point leader.
They also didn't let down late as has been a concern and frustration recently for Kerr.
“That was fun, that was probably the most fun I’ve had watching our team all year,” Kerr said.
Thompson had 27 points at halftime, going 10 of 14 from the floor and 7 for 9 on 3-pointers as the Warriors led 60-53. Poole dished out five assists in the opening quarter, then helped Golden State start the third on a 19-7 burst to pull away for their eighth straight win in the series.
“I thought Jordan was magnificent, one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play. He just was so under control,” Kerr said.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 20 points, Aaron Wiggins added 19 and Tre Mann had 18 off the bench for the Thunder. Josh Giddey contributed 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds as Oklahoma City struggled in the opener of a road back-to-back coming off a franchise-record 153 points in Saturday's home win over Houston.
Thunder: G Lu Dort sat out again after he missed Saturday’s game with a strained right hamstring. ... The Thunder were outrebounded 45-36. ... Oklahoma City dropped to 9-17 on the road, 3-10 vs. the West. The Thunder have lost four in a row on the Warriors' home floor.
Warriors: Poole had his first double-double of the season and third of his career. ... Golden State is 7-5 without Curry, who was previously sidelined Dec. 16-Jan. 7 with a shoulder injury. “We’ve already been through a stretch without Steph and handled it pretty well, so we’re confident we can do that again,” Kerr said.
Warriors rookie guard Ryan Rollins is set to have surgery Wednesday for a broken pinkie toe in his right foot and he will likely miss the rest of the season.
Golden State acquired the draft rights to Rollins from the Hawks, who selected him 44th overall in the second round.
He played in 12 games for the Warriors and 19 for the G League Santa Cruz team, where he averaged 19.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 25.6 minutes.
The Warriors and Marvel actor Simu Liu unveiled the “Simu Liu Sensory Room" for guests who might need a quiet space when feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated.
“It's incredible,” Liu said. “Pretty neat. It's simple. It's perfect.”
Thunder: Visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night with LeBron James 36 points from breaking the NBA career scoring record.
Warriors: At Portland on Wednesday night then host the Lakers on Saturday night.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports