OAKLAND – Holding court late Saturday afternoon, 27 hours after signing a $70 million contract extension, Klay Thompson pledged to become more efficient on offense. He wasted no time diving into his goal.
Thompson went out and scored a career-high 41 points, all the while staring down the legend Kobe Bryant, to lead the Warriors to a 127-104 win over the Lakers at Oracle Arena.
Now that's how a man celebrates in style, and Thompson's night was punctuated with a standing ovation from the sellout crowd at the home opener.
Thompson had plenty of help. Splash Brothers sidekick Stephen Curry put in 31 points, adding 10 assists and five rebounds. Harrison Barnes was the only other Warrior to reach double figures, with 15 points.
But it was Thompson's night. He always finds special motivation when facing the Lakers, the team his father, Mychal, spent so many seasons as a player and now serves as a broadcaster. The fourth-year shooting guard made 14 of 18 shots, everything from 3-point missiles to driving dunks. He added five rebounds, just to get some dirt on his jersey.
Bryant did a nice job of reminding everyone he's not quite finished. The 36-year-old was particularly dazzling in the third quarter, scoring 19 of his team-high 28 points. Forward Jordan Hill added 23.
Thompson and Curry shared the honors, with Barnes and Andre Iguodala (9 points, six assists, four rebounds) splitting the honorable mention vote.
The win gave the Warriors a 2-0 start, while the Lakers lost their fourth in a row.
Trailing 43-33 with 7:45 left in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a 25-4 tear to take a 58-47 lead 1:44 before halftime. Thompson scored 8 during the run, with 6 each from Curry and Barnes and 5 from Iguodala.
The Lakers never led again, despite some remarkable shooting by Bryant. They came within three (83-80) in the third quarter before the Warriors pulled away for good with a 10-1 run in the fourth quarter.
Surprisingly, this marks only the second time both Curry and Thompson have reached the 30-point barrier in the same game.
Ten different Warriors played, and all 10 scored.
F David Lee (strained left hamstring) did not play and is out indefinitely.
The Warriors left Oakland immediately after the game for Portland, where on Sunday night (6 p.m.) they face the Trail Blazers at Moda Center.