Klay Thompson led the charge with 30 points on 11-of-22 shooting. He drained eight three-pointers, to go along with eight rebounds, and three blocks. The Warriors needed every bit of Thompson to prevent the series from going back to Memphis.
On a night where Jordan Poole and Steph Curry combined to shoot 8-of-25 from the perimeter, Thompson connected on his first five triples in the first half.
“Thinking about how far I’ve come and how grateful I am to have another closeout game at Chase [Center],” Thompson reminisces after Game 6 with reporters. “And luckily it was one of my nights and carry this momentum into the WCF.”
Chalk this up to just another fabulous playoff performance for the sharpshooter. Thompson has a long-storied resume in Game 6s. Out of the last seven Game 6s for Thompson, he has only failed to score under 25 one time.
“I have no idea. I have no clue,” when Thompson was asked about how he does it. “I just love the moments, I love the pressure, I love playing basketball at the highest level.”
Mike Brown Raves About Thompson’s Performance
With Steve Kerr missing his third straight game due to COVID, Mike Brown stepped in and filled in admirably despite the 39-point drubbing in Game 5. As Brown agreed to terms to be the head coach of the Sacramento Kings, Game 6 was likely Brown’s last time as acting head coach with the Warriors.
After the game, Brown raved about how Thompson stepped up and did his thing in another one of Thompson’s historic Game 6s.
“You know how Klay is with Game 6s,” Brown says. “What a time to step up tonight. He was fantastic.”
Brown made sure to point out how Thompson excelled beyond just his superb shooting performance. He was tasked with guarding the Grizzlies’ No. 1 scoring option, Desmond Bane.
“Not only his shooting, he had 8 boards,” Brown acknowledges. “That was one of the things we stressed, our guards have to rebound. On top of that, one of the adjustments we made was putting a body on [Desmond] Bane. He not only scored 30, shooting 11-for-22, but he chased Bane around all night. That’s no easy task.”
Bane finished with an efficient 25 points on 16 shots, but having to carry the offense while guarding the other team’s best offensive weapon is not something Thompson has done consistently since coming back from his serious injuries.
A Look Back at Remarkable Game 6 Performances by Klay Thompson
2016 Against OKC
In perhaps his most memorable Game 6 performance, Thompson caught fire and scored 19 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016. Down 3-2 with the teams’ 73-9 record on the line, Thompson practically willed the Warriors to force Game 7.
He finished the game with 11 triples, and that Game 6 performance is considered an NBA classic.
2018 Against Houston
Down 3-2 in the series and a 17-point deficit after the first quarter, the Warriors had their backs against the wall. Thompson caught fire and finished 13-23 from the field with 9 triples to lead the team with 35 points.
The Dubs locked down on defense and outscored the Rockets 64-25 in the second half—including holding the Rockets to 9 points in the fourth quarter. The Warriors did not lose a single game after this, taking Game 7 against the Rockets, and then sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals.
2019 Against Houston
This time, the Warriors were up 3-2, and playing without Kevin Durant. Thompson nailed 7 triples and helped the Dubs overcome a five-point deficit after three quarters. Both Chris Paul and James Harden played for the Rockets, yet Thompson and Curry were still able to rally the team for a win.
2019 Against Toronto
This Game 6 was the heartbreak one. After losing Durant to a torn Achilles in Game 5, Thompson dropped 30 points through three quarters, and almost helped force Game 7 against the Toronto Raptors in the Finals.
Unfortunately, Thompson tore his ACL late in the fourth quarter. The Dubs would end up losing the game, and the season in the process. This was the start of Thompson’s nightmare rehab process, where he missed over two and a half seasons.