Steve Kerr reveals mindset that sparked Klay Thompson’s outburst vs. Suns
Klay Thompson dropped a game-high 38 points on Monday night, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 123-112 victory over the Phoenix Suns. The victory marks the defending champions’ first over their division rivals in 2022-23, coming in wake of three ugly previous defeats to Phoenix—during one of which Thompson was issued his first ever ejection after getting into it with Devin Booker.
It’s safe to say Thompson came out extra motivated against the Suns this time around. He scored a whopping 33 points and drained eight triples in the first half alone, getting the Warriors out to a 25-point lead before intermission that simply proved too much for Phoenix—still without Kevin Durant, remember—to overcome.
Steve Kerr wasn’t surprised by Thompson’s historic first-half outburst.
“I just think Klay’s been in such a great place now for a while, several months,” he said on the postgame podium. “The two early Phoenix losses he struggled, showed a lot of frustration. I know it felt good for him to have that huge first half, regardless of who we were playing. But as I said, this is a division rival and a team that’s beaten us three straight. We know how big a game it was and Klay knew how big it was. He came out and set the tone.”
Thompson also set the tone for what he expects of Golden State going forward.
It was barely a week ago the Warriors were riding high off a five-game home winning streak, awaiting Steph Curry’s return from injury for the start of a three-game road trip. But they returned to the Bay winless, pushing their road record to 7-26, worst in the league among teams that aren’t tanking.
Thompson, though, believes Golden State is finally ready to play winning basketball away from home as another pivotal road trip dawns. If he plays like he did in the first half on Monday over the next five games, Thompson very well might be right.