OAKLAND — When Klay Thompson sank a 24-footer midway through the second quarter on Monday night, Stephen Curry lost his mind.
With a towel draped over his shoulders as he lept up and down in front of the bench, Curry started sprinting toward the scorer’s table. Then he stopped, headed back toward the baseline, jumped and ran past his teammates before disappearing down the tunnel.
“We love when everybody has their moment and just goes crazy. Genuine excitement over there,” Curry explained after Thompson dropped 60 points and the Golden State Warriors destroyed the Indiana Pacers 142-106.
“We have to be able to enjoy those historical performances,” Curry added. “That’s what the game is all about. Tonight was one of those nights.”
The shooting guard, who exited the game for good with 1:22 to go in the third quarter, became the fourth Warrior ever to hit the 60-point plateau and the first since 1974.
Thompson also became the first player in the Shot-Clock Era to score 60 points in a game while playing fewer than 30 minutes.
“That’s a feat that I would put money on to probably never be touched ever again in the history of basketball,” Curry said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Even with the Warriors up 116-83 at the end of the third quarter, Thompson lobbied to get back on the floor in the fourth quarter.
“I mean, I think I could have [gone for 80],” Thompson said. “Maybe one day I’ll have the opportunity. But 60 in 29 minutes is not too bad. I’m satisfied with that.”
With the Pacers arriving at the Oracle on the second night of a back-to-back, Thompson was on fire from the jump.
The shooting guard accounted for 17 of the team’s first 29 points and then rained down 23 points during the second quarter as he connected on four 3-pointers.
“I think it started for me when I got a few layups in the beginning,” Thompson said. “That always opens up my game. Whenever I’m active off the ball, that’s when I’m at my best.”
After going 3-for-13 from downtown against the Houston Rockets last Thursday, Thompson is shooting 67 percent (14-for-21) in the last two games.
With 45 assists, Golden State posted its second game with at least 40 of the season, becoming the first NBA team since the 1992-1993 campaign to accomplish that feat.
“Forty-five assists? That’s ridiculous. Who was the last team — was it [the] Showtime [Los Angeles Lakers] who did it 25 years ago? I don’t know,” Thompson asked, before a team spokesman reminded him that the Warriors had totaled 47 just two weeks ago.
None of those 45 was more absurd than the one Curry dished to Kevin Durant with just over nine minutes to go in the third quarter.
Draymond Green collected a rebound on the defensive glass and then threw a football pass — the length of the court — to Curry. Just before Curry hit the baseline, the guard lobbed an over-the-shoulder alley oop to the trailing Durant.
“[That was a] pretty remarkable play,” Kerr said. “But to be honest, what I liked most about tonight was that we made the simple play for the most part. That was a spectacular one but we kept it simple.”