With the series now tied at 1-1 heading to L.A., Thompson will have a chance to play meaningful basketball in the arena where he grew up watching games as a fan. Golden State’s No. 11 told reporters that he and his father Mychal, who won two titles with the Lakers during his playing days, would go to games when he was in high school.
“I’m going to be myself, I’m going to play hard on both ends, I’m going to hunt great shots,” Thompson said via NBC Sports Bay Area. “From a life standpoint, it’s such an incredible experience to play in front of my friends and family. I would go to Staples [Center] as a high school basketball player with my pops, just dreaming of playing on that floor, playing against the best in the world. To be here and be a part of it, I don’t lose sight of that perspective of how great this opportunity is and I’m just excited to do it in a building where all my hoop dreams came out.”
The 33-year-old went on to explain that these upcoming games in L.A. mean even more to him because he’ll have the chance to honor the late Kobe and Giana Bryant.
“I have so much respect for just the opportunity ahead for me,” Thompson added. “I’m a huge Kobe fan, he’s my biggest inspiration and I’m just going to play my hardest to honestly honor him and Gigi because without his play and all those years of me viewing his tenacity on the court, I would not be the athlete I am today.”
LeBron James Credits Klay Thompson After Warriors Win Game 2
Thompson’s 30-point explosion stole the show at Chase Center on Thursday. He was the game’s leading scorer and made things difficult for LeBron James‘ Lakers.
James addressed Klay’s big night, following L.A.’s 27-point loss. He gave the sharpshooter credit, but challenged his team to be better on the defensive end.
“We’re still the best defensive team in the league if not one of them,” James said. “So, that doesn’t change, and that’s what we hang our hats on. But like I said, you give credit where credit’s due. Klay was spectacular tonight.”
LeBron James Praises Draymond, JaMychal Green After Loss to Warriors
Thompson wasn’t the only Warriors player who James discussed during his postgame availability. The King was sure to send some praise in the direction of Draymond Green, as well as JaMychal Green.
“Draymond was great in the pocket pass with the rolls and things of that nature,” James pointed out. “JaMychal gave them big-time minutes. Those 12 minutes felt like 24 minutes [or] 30 minutes. He was big-time for their team in a starting role tonight, too. So, you give credit where credit is due, and we move on to the next game. But our defense is where we hang our hats, and that doesn’t stop, no matter who we’re playing against.”
Both of Golden State’s Greens were excellent on Thursday. Draymond finished the night with a near-triple-double, totaling 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists. Plus, he did a number on Anthony Davis, who scored just 11 points after a monster Game 1.
As for JaMychal, he stepped up in his first start of the playoffs. The big man tallied 15 points on an efficient 6-of-9 from the field, making three 3-pointers in the process.
Golden State will look to take back home court from the Lakers on Saturday night, when they head to L.A. for Game 3.