OAKLAND – There is no argument that Steph Curry is the clear leader in the NBA MVP race. He’s the focal point for the best team, leads the league in scoring and every 3-pointer he makes resets the single-season record.
There also is no argument that Curry isn’t the most dangerous scorer on the Warriors these days.
That distinction belongs to Klay Thompson, whose dazzling shooting has kept the Warriors rolling during this period of relative malaise before the playoffs begin on April 16.
The NBA on Monday acknowledged Thompson’s brilliant stretch, naming him Western Confernece Player of the Week for the period ending Sunday.
Thompson’s response was befitting of his blasé public persona.
“It means I had a great week,” Thompson said after practice Monday. “Give credit to my teammates because all those buckets I made, 70 percent probably were assisted on. So I’ve just got to not be satisfied and stay humble and just keep grinding.”
Thompson averaged a league-high 32.3 points last week as the Warriors posted a 4-0 record. He shot 51.7 percent from the field and, moreover, 62.2 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
Thompson is shooting, ahem, 49.7 percent from deep in 15 games this month.
“He’s been in such a good groove lately,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I’m happy for him. He deserves it.
“I don’t know if it’ll mean anything to him whatsoever,” Kerr cracked about his seemingly unbothered shooting guard, “but it is a nice honor.
Thompson scored 40 points in each of the Warriors’ last two games, the first time in his five-year career he has achieved such a feat. Thompson and Curry are the first teammates to post consecutive 40-point games since Alex English and Kiki Vandeweghe of the Denver Nuggets in 1982-83.
Thompson becomes the third Warriors player to win the award, following Curry, who has won it five times, and Draymond Green, who won it once.
The last time three Warriors won the award in the same season was 1990-91, when Chris Mullin, Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond each won it.