Thompson first player to post 60 points in under 30 minutes

Tue Dec 6, 2016 2:37am EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - Klay Thompson remembers the night Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006.

Thompson, a teenager growing up in Los Angeles as the son of an NBA player, was offered tickets to the game. He opted not to go.

Almost 11 years later, Thompson did his best impersonation of a performance he never saw, exploding for 23 of his career-high 60 points in the second quarter on Monday night, propelling the Golden State Warriors to a 142-106 home victory over the Indiana Pacers.

"I never would have thought I was capable of that," Thompson said of Bryant's feat. "I don't know (if I could have matched it Monday). We should keep the game closer next time."

Thompson's 60 points came in just 29 minutes, making him even better than Bryant in that regard. He became the first NBA player ever to score at least 60 points without playing 30 minutes.

"We know he's capable of that," gushed Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who saw Thompson pour in an NBA-record 37 points in the third quarter of a win over the Sacramento Kings in January of 2015. "It always feels like it's a possibility."

Thompson, whose previous career high of 52 came in that same game against the Kings on Jan. 23, 2015, hit 21 of his 33 shots and went 8-for-14 on 3-pointers.

The 60-point performance was the first of the NBA season, and first since Bryant went for 60 in his career finale last April.

"It definitely reminded me of it," Thompson said in comparing Monday's effort with his 52-point game. "It's a zone to cherish when you're in. It's something you don't take for granted because you never know when it's going to happen again."   Continued...

November 23, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) shoots the basketball against the Los Angeles Lakers during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports