LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nothing could stop Klay Thompson, certainly not the Lakers’ defense.
The Golden State Warriors made sure of it, too, setting screens and calling plays for the star guard, who tied an NBA record by making his first 10 attempts from 3-point range on his way to scoring 44 points in a 130-111 victory Monday night.
“I’ve never hit 10 3s in a row in a game. That’s hard to do,” Thompson said. “I just happened to be on tonight and I’m happy I was able to do it in front of my family.”
The Warriors equaled a season high with their eighth consecutive victory. The two-time defending champions won their seventh straight road game, too.
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“They’re starting to find their stride, not just against us, but against the league,” Los Angeles coach Luke Walton said.
Thompson stopped and popped from everywhere, finishing 10 of 11 from beyond the arc and 17 of 20 from the floor overall.
“We kind of sold out to look for Klay, to be honest,” Kevin Durant said. “When you’re knocking shots down like that, you have to continue to feed him until he goes cold and tonight I didn’t see that in sight.”
Thompson had 23 points in the third quarter, connecting on seven 3s as the Warriors stretched their lead to 36. He hopped and let his right arm hang in the air after hitting his seventh while Golden State fans at Staples Center cheered. He finally missed from deep late in the period.
“We had two, three guys flying at him,” Walton said.
Durant added 20 points and Stephen Curry had 11 points and 12 assists, going 2 of 10 from 3-point range for the Warriors.
“We had 41 assists tonight, so the ball was moving and Klay was just spectacular,” coach Steve Kerr said.
Emblematic of his quiet offensive night, Curry came dribbling in alone for a fast-break dunk, but slipped and fell, drawing gasps from the crowd. He scrambled to his feet, got the ball back and put up an air ball.
“That was funny,” Thompson said. “That’ll definitely be on ‘Shaqtin a Fool.'”
Ivica Zubac led Los Angeles with 18 points. Brandon Ingram added 17 and Kyle Kuzma had 16.
The Lakers were without their primary ball-handlers and playmakers in LeBron James, Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo. They fell to 5-9 without James, whose left groin strain has forced him out for the longest stretch of his 16-year career.
Coming off a split in two straight overtime games, the Lakers kept it close in the first half, trailing 65-55 at the break. Golden State had just six 3s at halftime.
But Thompson fired up a 3-pointer — the first of Golden State’s nine in the third quarter — and the Warriors went on to outscore the Lakers 45-25 to lead 110-80 going into the fourth.
Golden State’s sharpshooting silenced the crowd and allowed the Warriors to sit four of their five starters in the fourth, leaving DeMarcus Cousins in for a bit until he also went to the bench.
Cousins had eight points, nine rebounds, five assists and four fouls in his second game for the Warriors since being out nearly a year with a severe knee injury.
The Warriors have made 141 3-pointers to 93 for opponents during their eight-game winning streak.
Warriors: All 12 players scored. … Their other eight-game winning streak this season was Oct. 22 to Nov. 5. … Evened the season series 1-1, having lost 127-101 on Christmas.
Lakers: Walton hopes James is able to return this week when the Lakers have five straight games at Staples Center. … Ball is out four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain. … Walton said Rondo (right ring finger surgery) could return on Thursday, but he’s not as confident about James. … Josh Hart had six points, one assist and four fouls starting in place of Ball. … Jack Nicholson made a rare courtside appearance. Mahershala Ali, Snoop Dogg, James Franco, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were in the crowd.
PLEASING THE PARENTS
Thompson was going to catch up with his father, former Laker Mychal Thompson, afterward.
“He’ll probably just tell me, ‘Good job, should have had 50. Should have gone for 50,'” the younger Thompson said. “It’s never good enough for your parents.”
BELL VS KERR
Warriors reserve Jordan Bell had a sideline exchange with Kerr. Bell scored two points in seven minutes.
“Coach will always, especially the younger guys in the league, definitely be on them a little bit more because he expects a lot out of them,” Durant said. “He lets us know what he sees out there and if you have something to say to him back, he’s not going to be afraid to go back at you. He sees the potential in him. That stuff happens, so we’ll move on.”
Warriors: At Washington on Thursday in the third of a four-game trip.
Lakers: Host Minnesota on Thursday.
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