On May 28, 2016, Klay Thompson went absolutely bonkers from deep. He drained 11 threes while leading the Golden State Warriors to a 108-101 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It was a performance that had historic ramifications beyond the fact that it still stands as the playoff record for a single game. Thompson also took 18 attempts, which tied the record for most tries in a playoff game at the time (later broken by then-Thunder guard Russell Westbrook).
The performance was also critical in keeping the Dubs’ championship hopes alive.
After falling down 3-1 in the series, the Warriors gob-smacked the Thunder at home in Game 5. And Game 7 was also going to be in Oakland.
But Game 6 was crucial.
Oklahoma City has always been a tough place to win, and the fans were chomping at the chance to get back to the Finals. The Thunder led most of the game, but Thompson went ballistic in the 4th quarter, scoring 19 points and making five of his triples.
He sank the three that put the Warriors ahead for good with 1:35 left, and he made his only two free throws of the game to end it.
The Warriors won Game 7, and that was the last time Kevin Durant played for the Thunder. He infamously left to join the Warriors during the next season and won the subsequent two Finals MVPs. This series became all the more ironic since the Warriors joined the Thunder in blowing their own 3-1 lead during the 2016 NBA Finals.
So, in a lot of ways, you can trace the roots of the Hampton 5 to Klay’s Game 6 eruption.
Kelly is a TBW co-Founder and frequent contributor. He spent 4.5 years in the USAF before attending University of Minnesota, Bible college in Anaheim and 15 years in youth ministry. Basketball blogger-turned-NBA Featured Columnist with Bleacher Report, BBallBreakdown, Fansided, The Step Back, Hoops Habit, SportsNet, Vantage Sports, Dime and FanRag, among others, his work has been read over 25 million times. The former NBA Assistant Editor at FanRag (2016-18), he is an NBA Twitter staple who is well-connected and respected among today’s finest basketball writers.