OAKLAND — Less than 30 seconds after hitting his second 3-pointer of Tuesday’s game, Stephen Curry tapped a loose defensive rebound into the frontcourt, where he gathered the bouncing ball and rose up for a shot all in one motion.
Of course it went in.
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— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) April 5, 2017
Seventeen seconds later, Klay Thompson squared up to the basket from 33 feet out, stared at his opponent — as if to take a moment to ask himself, “Should I really shoot this?” — before letting the heat-check fly.
Naturally, it dropped, extending the Golden State Warriors’ lead to 19. If the Minnesota Timberwolves’ spirit wasn’t broken before that, it certainly was after that minute of play.
“It’s energizing for us when they both get it going and our defense can get stops and we can get out in transition,” said head coach Steve Kerr after the Warriors’ 121-107 victory. “It feels like the whole game breaks free. So that’s fun and when we’re at our best.”
The Dubs finished the first half with an eight-point lead. They entered the fourth up 18 with an advantage that had swelled to as much as 23. Five times this season the Warriors had a lead of 10 points or fewer at the break and then entered the fourth up by more than 20. They were that close to making it six against the T’Wolves.
That’s thanks to Curry creating 23 points, 14 of his own with four assists.
“Tonight, he was angry with himself [entering the third quarter],” Kerr revealed and Curry later confirmed. “… You can see he had that competitive fire in his eyes and we kind of had a feeling as a staff that he was getting ready to break loose — not that that’s an earth-shattering prediction.”
Of course, Thompson remaining on fire — over the last 12 games, he’s shooting 58-for-119 (48.7 percent) from beyond the 3-point line — also had a major effect on the game.
When asked to what he attributes his recent hot streak, Thompson said, “I would probably say the weather has gotten better. The sunshine has been so good to me. … It just puts me in a great mood to come into the gym everyday.”
Thompson said it in a way that would’ve been a deadpan joke had he been anyone else. But with him making stops at Dolores Park, the beach and the Oakland Athletics home opener in the last couple days, it’s unclear if Thompson was joking.
“He’s got an adventurous personality, so when gets to go out and explore in his downtime, I’m sure it gets the adrenaline flowing, if you will,” Curry said about his backcourt mate. “But you can never tell because his face is the same.”
And with Thompson scoring 41 points, it’s hard to dispute his cause-and-effect argument.