Golden State Warriors

Klay Thompson drops 37 in a quarter: The Day After

Wake up, Warriors fans. Rub the gunk out of your eyes. Splash some cold water on your face.

“Wait … what happened last night? Was I dreaming? Did I really see Klay Thompson drop 37 points in one quarter? Did that actually happen?”

Yes, Warriors fans. That actually happened.

Put on your robe and slippers. Grab yourself a piece of toast and a cup of coffee. Last night was amazing. Last night Klay Thompson did what no man in NBA history has ever done before. Not Michael Jordan. Not LeBron James. Not Larry Bird or Kobe Bryant. Not even Wilt Chamberlain.

Klay Thompson dropped 37 points in one quarter. It was incredible and joyful and unbelievable and hilarious all at the same time. And it was definitely real. I promise.

Let’s review.

***

The 3rd quarter

If you were watching the game live, you’ll never forget the build up. The way Bob Fitzgerald and Jim Barnett went from chiding the Warriors for blowing a huge lead to the Sacramento Kings, and how their tone changed as Klay started building that lead back up, all by himself. Tim Kawakami has a nice break down of all 13 shots here. It started out with a harmless jumper. Splash. A steal and a pull up three. Splash. Transition three from the wing. Splash. Something was happening.

Then this happened and it was clear something was about to happen. A happening was afoot.

http://i.imgur.com/T3NUOfG.gif

That was cool. Play of the game, I thought. Better GIF that, STAT! Oh, I was so naive. So clueless.

The rest of the quarter is a blur. Here, watch this.

http://youtu.be/Sc3m3BwfylA

And this. You should watch this one too.

http://youtu.be/kOSExq2j9xY

See? I told you it happened.

***

The TV call

Listen to Fitz and Barnett in those highlights. The tension builds. The floodgates open. There is true joy in watching beautiful basketball like this. You can hear it in their voices. These guys weren’t just putting you on, they were along for the ride with Klay right along side you.

Fitz: “Klay Thompson three. Oh, he’s feeling it. Absolutely feeling it!”

Fitz: “Klay … HEAT LAUNCH! OH MY!”

Fitz: “KLAY THREEEEEE … OH, MAN!!! … FORTY!!!”

Fitz: “THE CROWD STANDING … KLAY DRIVING … AGAIN … GOOOOOOOD!!! … ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

At this point Fitz and Barnett were reduced to random grunts and fits of maniacal laughter. Klay Thompson had broken them. The quarter went on. Klay hit another three and some free throws, then finally, mercifully, the quarter ended. Each man dealt with the reality of what had just happened in his own way…

Jokes aside, Fitz was really good last night. He hit all the right notes and played the audience like a fiddle. You couldn’t take your eyes and ears away from the action. Barnett was great too. By the end of the quarter, you could tell he was just bewildered, overcome with joy. He said Klay’s performance turned him into a fan. If you don’t believe him, take a look at this…

JB Klay

Jim Barnett is seriously the best, you guys.

***

The radio call

I didn’t catch any of Tim Roye and Tom Tolbert live on the radio side, but I did catch highlights on KNBR 680 immediately following the game. Ray Woodson and his crew played highlights throughout Sportsphone 680 after the game, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing some of the best calls next week, the week after, and really for the rest of the season.

Fortunately, long time Warriors/KNBR producer R.C. Davis supplied fans with audio of the full 3rd quarter within minutes of the game ending.

There are some great calls in there. I recommend putting on a sweater or a warm jacket before clicking on that link. It is absolutely chill-inducing.

Just like Fitz, Tim Roye killed it. He matched Klay shot-for-shot with his calls. Tolbert was along for the ride, dropping the occasional “WEEEEEEEE!” and laughing like a hyena, which is pretty much what all of us watching and listening were doing.

***

The Warriors’ reaction

Maybe the funniest thing about the 3rd quarter, besides just the ridiculousness of Klay shooting, was the reaction both from the Warriors and the Kings. Once it became apparent to everyone that Klay was a man possessed by the Basketball Gods, his teammates decided to stop running plays and just did whatever they could to get Klay the ball. It was crazy to watch this happen in an NBA game.

Steph had six assists to Klay during the quarter. He wasn’t even attempting to hide the fact he was feeding Klay the ball. Guys passed up open shots and dribbled around the court until they could find Klay. The Kings were shell-shocked. I mean, who wouldn’t be? Look at this body language. Those poor bastards. After a break in the action late in the quarter. Kings star center DeMarcus Cousins came over to the Warriors broadcasters to commiserate.

The bench reaction was hilarious. Guys were jumping around and freaking out after every bucket. After the game, coach Steve Kerr joked with reporters that he worried about some of his guys drifting off into the nether regions of Oracle arena.

There are some great shots of player reactions over on Deadspin. Even Klay himself seemed in awe of the whole thing.

By all accounts, the postgame locker room scene was pretty amazing. Nobody wanted to talk about the game, guys just wanted to talk about Klay. KNBR.com’s Dieter Kurtenbach taped this four minute interview/stand up comedy routine from Draymond Green.

http://youtu.be/IzN4Ae6TbkI

Then finally, after a million interviews, Klay was able to take a shower…

***

Warriors fans react

Fans on social media went nuts. I’ve never seen anything like it before on Warriors Twitter. And of course, our friends over at @warriorsworld kicked off the postgame fun on Twitter with #Klays3rdQuarterHadMeLike. Warriors Twitter is always entertaining and last night was no exception. Here are some of the funniest ones I saw.

And of course, I had to get in on the action myself. SMH.

(I’m sorry)

Klay Three x11

(I’m really, really sorry)

***

Observing (and participating) in the madness that was last night, I can’t help but look forward and think about the meltdown that awaits us all if and when the Dubs make a deep run into the playoffs, and possibly to the NBA Finals.

It’s been a long time coming for Warriors fans. We’ve been through Hell and back with this team, but it’s starting to feel like it was all worth it. The lows – and there were A LOT of lows – maybe those lows are part of the reason why these highs we’re experiencing now are so meaningful. I’ve watched a lot of sports in my life. As a Bay Area fan, I’ve lived and died with some of the greatest teams in history, the 49ers of the ’80s and ’90s and the Giants of right now, to name a couple. I know a special team when I see one. This Warriors team is special. Last night was one more example of how this team is building towards something historic.

Don’t take this season for granted, Warriors fan. You earned this. Don’t miss a game. Don’t miss a quarter.

This is all real. This is actually happening.

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