Breakdown of the Kings’ breakdown vs. Klay Thompson

Klay_Thompson

On Friday, the Sacramento Kings helped make NBA history.

They allowed Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson to score 37 points in a quarter, including nine 3-pointers, which are now both NBA records. He shot 13-of-13 field goals in the span.

What’s more incredible is that Thompson entered the half 3-for-9 from the floor and 2-for-5 from behind the arc for 13 points, and didn’t start his record-breaking stretch until hitting a jumper with 9:44 in the third. He finished the night with 52 points, 11 3-pointers, five assists, four steals and two blocks.

Of course, Thompson’s night couldn’t happen without the Kings’ saggy defense. Sacramento threw multiple bodies at the swingman to no success. Additionally, head coach Tyrone Corbin’s three timeouts unintentionally let Thompson catch his breath so he could dominate the entire quarter.

Here’s how the Kings defended every basket Thompson made in the third quarter.

12-foot jumper (9:44)

The Warriors swung the rock around the perimeter and it reached Thompson in the top right corner. Draymond Green came up from the baseline to Thompson’s right to screen Ben McLemore, the on-ball defender, but Thompson opted to drive left with his off-hand, catching McLemore off guard. As the Warrior reached the left elbow, he spun and shook off McLemore, and pump faked only to find himself open. He swished the off-balance jumper.

26-foot 3-pointer (8:21)

Thompson pulled down a steal when Derrick Williams forced a pass to McLemore on the right baseline. With Williams and Collison running back to defend, and Stephen Curry drawing attention downcourt as well, Thompson brought the ball up himself with no resistance, and set his feet for the wide open 3 at the top of the arc.

26-foot 3-pointer (7:14)

Williams misfired a corner 3 and Curry rebounded, instantly pushing the break. With Thompson streaking to his left and Draymond Green to his right, Curry dished to his Splash Brother, who pulled up immediately as McLemore scrambled to get a hand in his face. Collison watched helplessly under the basket.

Alley oop dunk (6:04)

Harrison Barnes blocked a Williams put-back, which Green recovered and tossed to Thompson before he fell out of bounds. Thompson and Curry raced down the floor with only Collison in their way. The shooting guard dished to his point guard before lobbing it back for the one-handed slam.

25-foot 3-pointer (5:32)

Curry initiated the halfcourt set from the top of the arc and passed to Thompson 10 feet to his right, peeling off a screen. Andrew Bogut’s pick on Nik Stauskas gave the Splash Brother enough space to spot up, but he took a step back dribble and a crossover to his right hand before pulling up in Stauskas’ eye.

28-foot 3-pointer (4:57)

A poor Kings offensive possession gave the Warriors a chance to fast break, but they eased off the gas and allowed Sacramento to run back. After resetting at the top, Thompson pointed to Green a few feet away to plant a screen, but the two-guard decided to heat check and swished a bomb with Stauskas in the vicinity.

25-foot 3-pointer (4:19)

Fed up, coach Corbin subbed in stopper Ray McCallum to slow the hot hand before the play. Thompson inbounded the ball from the right sideline and swung underneath the hoop to the left baseline, where Green came down and picked McCallum. The Kings guard couldn’t recover in time to affect the fadeaway catch and shoot.

26-foot 3-pointer (3:03)

Following Collison free throws, Curry dribbled to halfcourt at a typical pace. With Collison defending above the arc, Curry dished 12 feet to his right to Thompson, who came back to the ball and was open thanks to David Lee’s screen. Firing another off-balance jumper with McCallum chasing, Thompson’s rainbow bounced off the front lip of the rim and tapped the top of the backboard for the shooter’s roll.

Driving layup (2:30)

McCallum settled for a tough jumper on the other end, which Green boarded and pushed. All five Kings hustled back, but with the star of the night trailing right behind him, Green flipped it back to Thompson and laid a screen on Collison. Thompson drove left to the hoop, as Collison frantically chased and Quincy Miller failed to react. The Warrior used his body to shield off the Kings point guard and flicked it in with his right hand.

26-foot 3-pointer (2:06)

An errant McCallum-to-Jason Thompson bounce pass resulted in a Curry steal, who sprinted out the gate. Amid the chaos in transition, Curry found Klay in the top right corner, and he shot without hesitation despite McCallum’s airtight positioning.

15-foot jumper (1:37)

Thompson brought the ball up after a Kings’ miss. Jogging down the left sideline, Green tried to screen Stauskas, who played up and fought around, to hug Thompson driving to the right. But then Quincy Miller picked up the Splash Brother and essentially got in Stauskas’ way, and Thompson pulled up from the right elbow over Miller’s outstretched arm.

25-foot 3-pointer (1:06)

Another wild Kings possession led to a Warriors fast break. Curry pushed, but choking McCallum defense forced him to pick up his dribble near the left sideline. Poor spacing this time not a problem, Curry dropped the ball off to Thompson only a few feet away. With no room to operate, Thompson launched a tough corner 3 with Stauskas in his grill.

25-foot 3-pointer (35.4)

Up 21, there was no need for the Warriors to rush. Shaun Livingston and Green passed back and forth, while Thompson weaved off the ball. Thompson caught the globe untouched at the top of the arc with the help of an elevator screen, and he lifted and released as Jason Thompson closed out in a hurry. It was already over but credit the King for trying.


Thompson added two free throws with 4.9 seconds left to complete the 37-point quarter. The 2011 11th pick scored uptempo, in the halfcourt, off fancy dimes and his own looks. Lots of shots were born by dead-end Sacramento offense. With Thompson’s help, the Warriors beat the Kings, 126-101.

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About: Rui Thomas

Rui Thomas is a writer and reporter for Cowbell Kingdom. He previously covered the Sacramento Kings and the NBA for Sports Out West. He is published by Sports Illustrated’s Truth and Rumors and Yahoo Sports NFL among others.