Steve Kerr said he didn’t have a flash watching Steph Curry and Klay Thompson drain 3-pointers Monday night at Paycom Center. The Warriors won 128-120 against the Oklahoma City ThunderBut watching the Splash Brothers shine against their former rivals, it was hard not to think of the past.
Gone are the days of Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut, like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. The Thunder are young, fun and building the next core of stars.
A new rivalry could one day erupt after Thunder stars like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddy, Jaylen Williams and Jaylin Williams, a healthy Lou Dort and Chet Holmgren make their NBA debuts.
For the Warriors, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga, Patrick Baldwin Jr., James Wiseman, Moses Moody and the rest of the young Dubs could lead the way. But on Monday night in OKC, it was time for Steph and Klay to make it rain on the Thunder one more time.
The two combined for 66 points. They made 53.7 percent of their 41 field goals, 50 percent, 28 3-pointers and all eight free throws. Curry led the way with 38 points, going 12-for-20 from the field, 8-for-14 from deep and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. Thompson added 28 points while going 10-for-21 overall, 6-for-14 from beyond the arc and 2-for-2 on free throws.
Both sharpshooters set the tone from the start.
Curry scored 13 points in the first quarter and was a plus-18 plus/minus as the Warriors trailed 38-20 in the second. He made five of his seven field goals and three of his four attempts from long range. Thompson went 4-for-5 from the field and 2-for-3 in the third, scoring 10 to go with it.
“You have to play the whole 48,” Steve Kerr told reporters after the win. “Our start set the tone for the game for us. We played really well in the first quarter and they had to swim in the last three quarters. Even though they were close, we were able to put them away.”
In that first quarter, the Warriors had 15 punts and all 15 were interceptions. The first 18 balls were off the ball. The tail ended with Jordan Poole dribbling four different players on the Thunder before Jordan Poole finished with a beautiful toe roll.
One game after the Warriors had a season-high 40 rebounds in a win over the Toronto Raptors, they had 37 assists against the Thunder on Monday. Curry dished out 11 assists on Friday. At this point, he raised his head.
He and Draymond Green led all players with 12 assists each.
“Oh, that first quarter was pretty cool,” Thompson said. “I think the ball is dragging around.”
Curry’s 12 shots in the last half were crucial. After dropping 18 points in the first half, he scored 20 points in the second half. But the most meaningful of all was his seventh field goal of the night, a solid finish at the rim.
This gave him 7,217 career field goals. Passing the all-time great Wilt Chamberlain Most in Warriors franchise history.
“What a fantastic achievement,” Thompson said. “I mean, Wilt Chamberlain is one of the greatest athletes to ever walk this earth. It’s special that Steph could do that leg less than him.”
During the season, the Warriors received contributions from a few players in the victory. Thompson led all eight players who saw action in the fourth quarter with nine points, three rebounds, two free throws and an emphatic dunk.
Related: Why Warriors vs. The Thunder begin a critical stretch in OKC
The Warriors won Jan. 7-6. Thompson played in 10 of 13 games and put together his best month of the season. He averaged 27 points on 45.9 percent shooting, 43.1 percent on 3-pointers and 90.9 percent on free throws.
On January 10th, Curry marked the highlight of the month as the Warriors won their third game in a row and earned their first win on the road this season after returning from a left shoulder injury. In nine games this month, he is averaging 29.1 points and 5.8 assists while shooting 47.8 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from downtown.
A slow start to the month was about as good a finish as Curry and the Warriors could have hoped for.
“Just smooth with the ball, running off the ball — off screens — playing good defense, rebounding,” Kerr said of Curry. “He was quick to the ball and looked fantastic out there.”
The rivalry between the Warriors and the Thunder is long over, for now. Steph and Clay’s Nights Shine are still too much to stay here.