Friday, December 1 2023

Thompson shares how Draymond speech inspired iconic ‘Game 6 Klay’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Over seven years ago on a May night in Oklahoma City, a legend was born.

Warriors star Klay Thompson still gets chills when he thinks about his ‘Game 6 Klay‘ performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference finals, when he drained a then-NBA-record 11 3-pointers en route to 41 points in a stunning 108-101 playoff victory.

But it might not have happened if it weren’t for Draymond Green, Thompson revealed this week as he and Kevon Looney spoke in the Philippines ahead of the Anta Squad Asia Tour at the Peninsula Manila hotel.

“When I look back on that game, I think about losing [Game 4], we’re down 3-1, and Draymond Green made one of the best speeches I think I’ve ever heard about how no one thought it was possible we could win 73 games and no one thinks it’s possible we could come back from this deficit,” Thompson said Wednesday. “He said, ‘Let’s go shock the world.’ And that right there gave me a ton of confidence to just — I like to say ’empty the clip’ as a shooter.”

Thompson went into the rest of the series with a shoot-now, think-later mentality, leaving no regrets on the court and helping the Warriors surge forward to the 2016 NBA Finals. His sharpshooting in Game 6 against the Thunder helped Golden State tie the conference finals at three games apiece, setting up Game 7 at Oracle Arena the Warriors went on to win.

While Thompson and Co. would go on to blow their own three-games-to-one lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals, Thompson still looks back on it all with a smile on his face.

“You don’t plan on having nights like that as an athlete,” Thompson continues. “They kind of just happen organically, and that is a very great memory for me, obviously, because at the time, it was the playoff record for threes. And when you do those things, you really shock yourself and they’re out-of-body experiences.

“That year’s still kind of painful to look back on just because it was such a beautiful regular season, and to lose to Cleveland still hurts, but I will forever cherish that game because it birthed kind of an alter ego for me as far as Game 6.”

Thompson went on to have more Game 6 success after 2016, like when he dropped a team-high 30 points against the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2022 Western Conference semifinals. And who could forget Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, where he scored 30 points in 32 minutes against the Toronto Raptors and then drained two free throws before limping off the floor with a torn left ACL.

In three Game 6s total during that 2019 postseason run — against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Houston Rockets and the Raptors — Thompson scored 66 points in incredibly efficient fashion, shooting 50.0 percent from the field, including 52.2 percent beyond the arc.

“I was lucky enough to have some great Game 6s after [OKC] as well, but I was just in such a great zone that night that I still get chills when I look back and think about it,” Thompson said. “And there’s nothing better in pro sports than silencing the opposing crowd. I’ve never heard it so quiet in an arena in OKC. You could just feel how deflated they were. Ironically, we were very deflated the next series, but it was still a great memory for us.”

Dub Nation has been blessed with plenty of incredible memories over the years as Thompson, Green and Steph Curry have run the court. And with the start of the 2023-24 NBA season just around the corner, fans certainly hope to see more of Game 6 Klay down the stretch.

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Source: Yahoo Sports


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