Klay's 'ridiculous' night for Warriors forces Game 7


Klay's 'ridiculous' night for Warriors forces Game 7

The same stone-cold no-conscience shooter so preposterously confident in his aim that he’ll fire anytime from almost anywhere, sometimes without regard to teammates, spent Saturday night breathing vibrant life into a laboring team.

Klay Thompson rescued the Warriors. Rescued their offense, rescued their postseason, rescued them from an elimination game that would immediately have sent them tumbling into a summer of dissatisfaction.

The fifth-year shooting guard grabbed Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals and didn’t let go until he scored a career-high 41 points, including an NBA postseason record 11 3-pointers, in lifting the Warriors to a 108-101 win over Oklahoma City.

“I should have had at least 13, because I missed some wide-open looks early,” said Thompson, who missed eight of his first 11 shots before heating up.

“Klay Thompson was ridiculous,” coach Steve Kerr said. “The shooting was some of the most incredible you’ll ever see.”

[RATTO: Game 6 victory over Thunder a top-3 moment in Warriors history]

Thompson was 14-of-30 from the field, 11-of-18 from beyond the arc. He was persistent in the first half, a revelation in the second, scoring 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 7-of-10 from deep.

Indeed, never was Thompson better than down the stretch of this elimination game, punctuating this most impressive individual performance with a 19-point fourth quarter – including 5-of-6 from deep – that pulled the Warriors back from a seven-point deficit.

“He understood the moment,” Stephen Curry said of Thompson. “There were crucial situations especially to start that fourth quarter where a 4-point game, a 6-point game, an 8-point game, he hit a timely shot to keep us in it.

“Obviously, the one where it's tied and he comes down and knocks down a 3 in transition, that was huge.”

That shot, a 25-foot trey with 1:35 remaining, gave the Warriors their first lead, 104-101, of the second half. They never lost it.

That’s because Thompson never stopped chucking.

“I try to feel like that every game, whether I'm 2-for-18 or 14-for-18,” he said. “I just try to be a continuous player, forget about whether the shot went in or not and just help my shot.

“Believe it or not, I practice with range, and my feet were set, my legs were under me, I was in a great flow, so all I had to do was catch and release.”

No single shot exhibited more Thompson hubris than that he launched from the top of the key, 28 feet away, with the Warriors trailing 96-89 with 4:57 to play. Swish. “That was the only one all night that I thought, what are you doing?” Kerr conceded.

“He has struggled to find a shot this series,” forward Draymond Green said of Thompson. “But that is why he is who he is. Like that shot he hit at the top of the key, he could have missed eight before that. If he thought he was going to shoot it then, he would have shot it regardless. “That is what makes him the shooter that he is. He stays confident, he is always working and it came through for us tonight.”

Thompson did more than his part to get the Warriors to Game 7 Monday night at Oracle Arena. Don’t be surprised if he’s just as aggressive as he was in Game 6, or most every game before.

Warriors' Steph Curry continues activism with police brutality protest

Warriors' Steph Curry continues activism with police brutality protest

On the corner of Perkins and Grand in Oakland, Warriors guard Stephen Curry put both of his hands up and spoke a sentence black folks have been chanting for much of their American existence. 

"Hands up!" Curry yelled amongst fellow protestors near Oakland's Lake Merritt. "Don't shoot!"

On the same block, Curry took a knee in protest of police brutality that has crippled Black America. The image was a reminder of the activist Curry has become off the court in recent years.

His latest act came in the wake of George Floyd's tragic death in Minneapolis police custody. Floyd -- a 46-year-old Black male -- died after officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was detained after allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill and resisting arrest, although nearby security cameras showed he didn't resist. In his final moments, Floyd could be heard screaming, "I can't breathe" and "mama." 

The killing has inspired protests all over the world. Wednesday's protest -- organized by Curry's teammate Juan Toscano Anderson -- drew an estimated 300 people to walk around Lake Merritt. Fellow Warriors Klay Thompson and Damion Lee also attended the protest.

The location of Curry's kneel is noteworthy. Lake Merritt is situated three miles away from North Oakland, where the Black Panther Party was formed. A mile away from the intersection Curry kneeled, the Panthers started the free breakfast program for kids. For much of its history, Oakland has been the country's epicenter for change and Curry was a part of the latest iteration. 

Social causes aren't new for the guard. Last summer, Curry financed the creation of the Howard University golf program. With his contribution, the Bison men's team will play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, while the women will play as independents. In addition, he outfitted them all in Under Armour apparel -- the shoe company that sponsors him -- and funded three scholarships for the school. 

In 2014, before Game 5 of Golden State's first-round playoff series against the Clippers, Curry was among a group of players ready to boycott if Clippers owner Donald Sterling wasn't banned by NBA commissioner Adam Silver following leaked racist remarks. Three years later, he said President Donald Trump's words were rooted in "racism" after he criticized LeBron James' intelligence in a tweet. Curry even spoke out against Under Armour in 2017, after CEO Kevin Plank called Trump an "asset" to the United States.

“If there is a situation where I can look at myself in the mirror and say they don’t have my best intentions, they don’t have the right attitude about taking care of people,” Curry told The Mercury News in 2017. “If I can say the leadership is not in line with my core values, then there is no amount of money, there is no platform I wouldn’t jump off if it wasn’t in line with who I am. So that’s a decision I will make every single day when I wake up. If something is not in line with what I’m about, then, yeah, I definitely need to take a stance in that respect.”

Curry's latest act comes on the same day New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees doubled down on his take that athletes shouldn't kneel during the national anthem. 

[RELATED: Poole: Brees reveals he's part of problem, not solution]

Brees' comments are a common retort for an uninformed person of privilege. Feigning patriotism behind the flag while ignoring why Colin Kaepernick and Curry kneeled in the first place. Disregarding that Kaepernick consulted a green beret before his demonstration and kneeled in respect for the anthem. Brees' stance, like that of many other similar public figures, is lazy, ignorant and dangerous. 

Curry, unlike Brees, will be on the right side of history at his current pace. 

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Steph Curry among Warriors at Juan Toscano-Anderson's Oakland protest

Steph Curry among Warriors at Juan Toscano-Anderson's Oakland protest

How did Warriors superstar Steph Curry spend his Wednesday afternoon?

He took part in a peaceful protest against police brutality and systemic racism at Lake Merritt in Oakland.

Curry and his wife, Ayesha, kneeled during the protest.

Juan Toscano-Anderson, an Oakland native and Warriors forward, organized the event.

"No matter the color of your skin, where you're from, how much money you got -- it doesn't matter," Toscano-Anderson said to those who gathered. "We're all human beings. We're all here for the same purpose.

"Right now, it's about black people. But for humanity, there's people all over the world being oppressed. We're just trying to take a step in the right direction."

[RELATED: Brees still believes kneeling is 'disrespecting the flag']

Additional members of the Warriors arrived after the walk began.

Protests around the country continue in response to George Floyd's tragic death last week while in police custody in Minneapolis.