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How Warriors' Klay Thompson tore apart Giannis and the Bucks

Klay Thompson's season-high 38 points led the Warriors to an impressive win on a night where Steph Curry attempted a season-low in shots.

How Warriors' Klay Thompson tore apart Giannis and the Bucks
Getty Images

Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson set up a decisive 122-109 home victory against the reigning champions Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, after a stunning opening.

Bucks' Curry plan not too hot, as Thompson sizzles

Thompson started on fire, scoring 21 points (8-12 from the field, 5-8 from three), with three rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block as the Warriors went into the half-time leading 67-58.

In an interesting strategic decision, Milwaukee decided to face-guard Steph Curry all the way up to the half-court line when he did not have the ball.

It forced Curry into a decision, where he could either scratch and claw to try and play his usual game, or he could drag his defender out to near half-court, allowing his team-mates to play four-on-four with plenty of extra space.

Curry finished with only seven field goal attempts – his first game this season with less than 10 – but had eight assists, and opened up the game for Thompson and Jordan Poole to dominate.

Thompson finished with a season-high 38 points (15-24 from the field, 8-14 from three), while Poole collected an efficient 30 (9-16 from the field, 5-10 from three, 7-7 from the line).

It was also yet another glimpse of what the seventh overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, Jonathan Kuminga, could look like when he is fully formed as the 19-year-old scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, spending long periods of the game holding up defensively against Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo was the sole bright spot for Milwaukee, scoring 31 points (9-17 from the field, 12-18 from the line) to go with his eight rebounds. 

Eight Timberwolves score double figures in 17-point comeback

The Miami Heat only scored 37 points after half-time of their home matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves, after leading 67-50 with one minute remaining in the second quarter.

Playing without star Jimmy Butler, the current one-seed in the East had things clicking early on as bench shooters Tyler Herro (30 points on 8-19 from the field, 6-10 from three) and Max Strus (19 points on 6-12 from the field, 5-11 from three) led the way.

Miami's downfall came as the starters faltered on the offensive end, never really finding a rhythm or easy baskets as its starting backcourt of Gabe Vincent and Duncan Robinson finished a combined 2-14 from the field, and 1-11 from three.

For Minnesota, on a night where star big man Karl-Anthony Towns (15 points) struggled with early foul trouble, the Timberwolves' bench came to play, with Jaylen Nowell (16 points on 6-13 shooting), Naz Reid (11 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, two blocks) and Taurean Prince (11 points, 2-5 from three) picking up the slack.

Clarkson stars for Jazz, Jones falls just short of triple-double

Utah Jazz's Jordan Clarkson produced the most eye-catching stat-line of the night, erupting for 45 points on 15-21 shooting (7-13 from three, 8-8 from the line) in his team's 134-125 home win against the Sacramento Kings as Hassan Whiteside started in place of Rudy Gobert, grabbing 21 rebounds in the process.

Yet another 10-assist game from the Indiana Pacer's Tyrese Haliburton led his side to a 119-108 on the road at the San Antonio Spurs, with the new arrival finishing also adding 19 points and three steals, while San Antonio's Tre Jones (nine points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists) finished one point shy of a triple double while starting in the place of Most Improved Player candidate Dejounte Murray.

The Toronto Raptors' versatile frontcourt duo of Pascal Siakam and top-five pick Scottie Barnes were enormous in the 127-115 road win against the Denver Nuggets, with Siakam finishing with 33 points (12-22 from the field) and seven assists, while Barnes posted 25 points (11-20 from the field), 10 assists and eight rebounds.


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