OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Golden State Warriors All-Star guard Klay Thompson’s shooting touch had gone ice cold during the first three playoff games against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The heralded member of the ‘Splash Brothers’ along with running mate Steph Curry, hit on just 16-of-36 shots, was a paltry 4-of-12 from the three-point line and averaged slightly more than 13 points a contest.
So he knew a shock — a change in his pregame routine — was badly needed to bring his touch back to life.
“We went to the beach to play some volleyball (before Sunday’s Game 4) — I’m like — I’m just going to jump in the ocean, I just know that will reset my mind,” he told reporters. “And it worked. So I don’t know if I’m going to jump in up north (in the Bay Area) because it’s freezing, but it’s something I’ll definitely contemplate if I don’t shoot the ball well the rest of year. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.”
Jolted back to life, Thompson’s shooting touch reappeared big time in Game 4. He was 12-of-20 from the field, 6-of-9 from the three-point line and scored 32 points.
The return came just in time. Curry had a miserable shooting performance in Game 4 scoring just 12 points. With Kevin Durant scoring 33 and Thompson chipping in 32, Golden State came away with a 113-105 victory and a 3-1 lead in series.
No one knows better than Golden State head coach Steve Kerr, how important it is to have a hot-shooting Thompson if the Warriors are to win their third straight title.
“When Klay gets going like that, it fuels the whole bench,” Kerr said. “You can just see everybody jumping around. Everybody gets happy. We all love when Klay gets hot. It fuels our momentum.”