How Klay Thompson prepared his team for Match 4


LOS ANGELES – The text landed a little after 9 am Friday night. The Golden State Warriors players decided – on their own – to move their practice from 11 am to 9 am the next morning.

"I received the text at night, around 9:15 or so, and it was like:" Adapt yourself accordingly, "said the small attacker of the Warriors, Kevin Durant, with a smile.

The Warrior coach, Steve Kerr, has always let his players decide on the beginning of the training and other activities of the team. This is his way of giving his players a sense of belonging to their schedule – but also to let them know that he trusts them so that they are professional enough to do what he wants. They must do to be successful.

So, when Kerr received a message from the team's director, Eric Hausen, informing him that the players wanted to train early to get ready for the 12:30 pm. He starts playing in Game 4 of his first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. He smiles too.

"I do not know if that has happened before," Kerr joked about the players choosing an early late night in Los Angeles. "But that's a good sign – normally you worry about them at night, because if they go out at night, they do not want to get up early and train."

But the Clippers have caught the attention of the Warriors after their historic return of 31 points in the second game of this series. They could do it again if the warriors were complacent. And with the likely opponent of the next round, the Houston Rockets, having taken a dominant lead in the 3-0 series on Utah Jazz, the Warriors could hardly afford to let LA live.

"We have our eyes on the other teams playing," said goalkeeper Klay Thompson after the Warriors' 113-105 win over the Clippers on Sunday afternoon.

"We see Houston beat the score at 3-0 with a chance to close, we did not want to extend this series anymore because we know how exhausting the series can be with this state of mind to put our foot on the throttle and not to let go, because we let go in the second game and we will not do that the rest of the playoffs, I really believe it. "

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The Sunday challenge was to be ready for the start at 12:30 pm. point the time. It may not ring early enough for 9 to 5 year olds, but for an NBA player, who should normally be at his best between 7pm and 5pm. and 22h, it's all a departure.

"I'm not in the morning," said Thompson. "It was so hard to get up and train so early." I felt like I was back in Santa Margarita [High School]. "

But that paid off on Sunday as Thompson scored his first seven shots scoring 27 points in the first half to allow the Warriors to score 62-54 early in the half. The Clippers rallied to the third quarter, hitting 5 of 7 3-pointers to take an 82-77 lead with 3 minutes and 57 seconds left. But Stephen Curry shot four free throws and his only match pointer in a 10-2 run against the Golden State to close the quarter, and the Warriors did not follow the rest of the game.

Thompson finished with 32 points and Kevin Durant scored seven of his 33 points in the last 5 minutes of the game as the Warriors ended the loss to the Clippers to take a 3-1 lead.

Curry had one of his worst shooting nights of the season with only 3 shots on 14 and 1 on 9 behind the three points in 35 minutes. Like the other three games in the series, Curry spent most of the night in trouble. But that seven-point run broke out at the end of the third quarter, his 10 rebounds and seven assists were all the Warriors needed after getting big games from Thompson and Durant.

"He's still filling in the statistics sheet," said Thompson from Brother Splash Brother. "Even though he's not shooting well, we trust him to take all the blows he's taking."

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The Warriors will have the opportunity to close the Clippers in the fifth game at Oracle Arena on Wednesday. This is essential as a second round playoff series could start next Sunday in Oakland. And that would always be the case if the Clippers could force a sixth game Friday in Los Angeles.

The Rockets, of course, pushed Golden State to seven games in the Western Conference finals last season, and are still considered their most dangerous rival despite their fourth-place finish. If anything, an early match with Houston – before the veterans James Harden and Chris Paul have to play a lot of minutes in the playoffs, which could be more dangerous than a conference final match. Last year, Paul was injured in the fifth game and could not participate in the last two games of the series.

This seems to have attracted the attention of Golden State as much as the Clippers in the second game of this series and created a sense of urgency.

Anyway, it was enough to get up two hours earlier on a Saturday morning in Los Angeles.

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