Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors guard and recent NBA record shatterer, still has the basketball world reeling over his 52-point performance against the Sacramento Kings Friday night, during which he bombed 37 points in the third quarter alone — handily besting the previous record for most points scored in a single quarter, which had previously stood at 33 and was a distinction shared by George Gervin and Carmelo Anthony, according to Seth Rosenthal of SB Nation. Thompson’s nine three-pointers established a new quarterly best, inching past Michael Redd and Joe Johnson’s previous record of 8. Thompson’s spotless 13-for-13 shooting also set a new benchmark for field goals made in a single quarter.
Thompson’s electric performance caught the attention of NBA Hall-of-Famer and L.A. Laker legend Magic Johnson, who lauded the performance in a series of tweets, whereby he referred to Thompson as one of the two best all-around players in the league alongside LeBron James, according to the Sporting News.
Thompson’s outstanding showmanship was such a special feat that it cost another Laker legend some sleep. Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury News reports that Golden State Warriors exec and NBA logo Jerry West was so excited to have witnessed such a feat of NBA history that the 77-year-old couldn’t get to sleep.
“I flew back home after the game, and honestly, I couldn’t go to sleep. I was replaying in my own mind what I had just witnessed. It was incredible to watch. It’s something no one’s watched, to be honest with you. The people that were fortunate to be there saw something that’s probably not going to happen for a long, long time if it ever happens again.”
“There are some nights you don’t even have to warm up, you just have it. I think it got to the point where Klay didn’t even know anybody else was out there.”
West’s excitement likely comes with some modicum of validation. During the summer, a rumored trade scenario had Thompson going to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love, who was ultimately dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers to play alongside LeBron. West ardently fought against it, adamant that the Warriors, who currently boast the best record in the NBA, not break up what he saw as perhaps the strongest backcourt in the league.
Cheering along with West was fellow Warriors gunner Stephen Curry, who at one point simply had to hide his head under his warm up jacket in disbelief, as West witnessed.
“Sometimes people just come to a game because it’s fun, but last night they got an extra amount of fun and their adrenalin was probably running as hard those players were. The funniest thing of all was when he made that last one in the corner, and Steph just grabbed his head. He was probably saying to himself, ‘I can’t believe this.’ He’s usually the one doing it.”
Thompson is the son of another former L.A. Laker great, Mychal Thompson.