Warriors

Klay takes off for rare poster dunk, lifts Warriors in process

Klay takes off for rare poster dunk, lifts Warriors in process

OAKLAND -- Klay Thompson has been among the NBA’s most accurate long-distance gunners and he’s at it again this season, consistently ranking among the leaders in 3-point shooting.

The 6-foot-7 guard also has a reputation a dogged defender, too, and when fully engaged he is able to contain some of the league’s best guards.

Thompson is not known for his dunks, though, but he jammed one Saturday night in a 122-105 win over San Antonio that will live in Warriors lore for years to come.

“It felt very good,” deadpanned Thompson.

Running along the right sideline, Thompson took an outlet pass from Stephen Curry, dribbled once and took flight, posterizing Spurs big man Davis Bertans in the process and giving the Warriors a 68-62 lead with 8:20 left in the third quarter.

“He took off from pretty far out,” coach Steve Kerr said with a sheepish grin. “I wasn’t sure he was going to get there.”

If the reaction from the Warriors on the bench is any indication, Kerr was not the only person uncertain of Thompson’s ability to take off from about eight out and have enough to shove it down.

Shaun Livingston, Pat McCaw, Kevon Looney, Nick Young and, of course, JaVale McGee leapt off the bench and went into hysterics.

“It excited our guys; they love when Klay dunks,” Kerr said.

“Klay tries to lay the ball up so much, so you never expect him to go try to dunk it like that,” Draymond Green said. “I think that’s why he got that reaction. It was a pretty good dunk.”

The dunk was part of an 18-8 run that put the Spurs away.

“It was nice to see him have that aggressiveness in transition,” Stephen Curry said. “And then from there, he opened the game up making shots and got the building going crazy. The bench went nuts, and that’s always fun to see.”

The slam allowed Thompson, who scored a game-high 25 points, to trim the deficit in his personal dunk duel with center Zaza Pachulia, who has a 10-7 lead.

“We motivate each other to get to the rim and finish strong,” Thompson said. “I think he’s up one on me. But there’s a lot of basketball left. And I see myself beating him by at least four of five dunks. I’m not too worried.”

Steph Curry sheds light on Game 1 trash talk with LeBron James, promises there are 'adversarial relationships' in NBA

Steph Curry sheds light on Game 1 trash talk with LeBron James, promises there are 'adversarial relationships' in NBA

Do you remember what happened with about 35 seconds left in OT during Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals?

In case you forgot:

The Warriors led by 11 points and with the shot clock winding down, Steph Curry attempted a driving layup and LeBron James blocked it.

LeBron proceeded to talk some trash to Curry and even used a little forearm to nudge him away when Curry said something in return.

On the most recent episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Curry shed some light on the exchange.

Simmons: "He blocked you and he talked sh*t to you. I thought you guys were gonna fight."

Curry: "It was never going to spill over to that. But it was an interesting moment ... I was hot because I was trying to finish out a possession, I think it was less than a minute left, I didn't see him coming over from the weak side so I tried to do a little soft scoop layup and he pinned it. Then he stared me down and he said something to me.

"And I was like, 'That's what we're really on right now? We're about to win and you're worried about mean-blocking my shot and talking trash?' And then the whole Tristan and Draymond thing happened and I went back up to him and I was like, 'Yo, what's up? Is this really what we're about right now?'

"And he was like, 'I gotta do that to make sure my teammates know I'm a mentor' and it's a part of his leadership and that type of deal. And I was like, 'I don't want to be the sacrificial lamb for your leadership.' (laughter). Come on man, that's messed up."

Simmons: "I want more of it. I don't want you guys to like each other. This is my biggest problem with this decade. I like that I'm not positive you and LeBron like each other (Curry starts laughing). Watching from afar, it doesn't seem like you like each other. I'm sure there's a mutual respect."

Curry: "There's definitely a mutual respect. I would say though when you see guys working out with each other in the summers and you see guys playing pickup and all that -- when you step foot on the court during the season, it's a totally different environment.

"Guys can be buddies and friends and whatnot and have whatever type of relationship they want to have in the summer and off the court, but the rivalry and competition and egos and all that stuff that lives in an NBA game and when you're trying to hold that trophy ... it's really there and it's not going anywhere."

Simmons: "I don't want you guys to get along. I want adverserial relationships."

Curry: "They're there. They're there. I promise you."

Good. That is awesome.

A couple other takeaways from the podcast:

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Steph Curry unveils story behind why the Wolves didn't draft him: 'I hope it's true because that's hilarious'

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AP

Steph Curry unveils story behind why the Wolves didn't draft him: 'I hope it's true because that's hilarious'

With the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select... Ricky Rubio.

With the sixth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select... Jonny Flynn.

With the seventh pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors select... Stephen Curry.

And the rest is history.

As you all know, the man in charge of those selections -- David Kahn -- was fired in 2013 and no longer works in the NBA.

"My guy David Kahn. I don't know where he's at right now," Curry said on The Bill Simmons Podcast. "I don't know if that ever came out -- there's a story. Everybody knows how much I love golf -- play it in my spare time and what not.

"I think the word on the street was that he didn't draft me because in Minnesota it's cold and I wouldn't be able to play as much golf so I would have been miserable."

A shocked Simmons asked Curry: "Is that true?"

"I hope it's true because that's hilarious (laughter)," Curry said. "That's hilarious."

To which Simmons responded: "It was idiotic in the moment. I did a draft diary. I was going nuts. Because if you're gonna take two point guards, how are you not one of the two? And then if you're gonna go all-in on Rubio and you don't even know if he's gonna come over..."

Rubio didn't leave Spain for the NBA until the 2011-12 season, and a hip injury unfortunately ended Flynn's career after just two plus seasons.

There's no way we will ever find out if that golf story is true, but just like Steph... we certainly hope it is.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller