Klay Thompson Week concluded like a creation of pure fiction, with a rollicking dunk to stir the senses and a go-ahead floater to assure a perfect start to the young man's new life as well as this Warriors season.
Two days after signing a $70 million contract extension and one day after scoring a career-high 41 points to rout Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, Thompson summoned a magnificent denouement Sunday night at Moda Center in Portland.
He led the scoring with a game-high 29 points, provided clutch baskets – two daggers in the final 3 1/2 minutes – and probably piloted the Oakland-bound jet after the Warriors went to 3-0 by squeezing out a 95-90 victory over the Trail Blazers.
Thompson won't see a dime of his new contract until next season, but he has used the first three games of the season to make a statement about his worth.
"I don't necessarily look at it like living up to a contract," Thompson said. "I just try to take it game by game, because I know it's a long season. I have a long way to go to be real consistent, but I think I'm on my way there.''
Through three games, Thompson is averaging 29.7 points on 53.7 percent shooting. He's shooting 91 percent from the line. He's raining 3-pointers, dropping in floaters and hammering home nasty dunks. He has been an offensive juggernaut.
Though Thompson was stroking it from the opening tip, scoring 15 points in the first quarter, it was his work in the final minutes that will be replayed, rewound and remembered.
There was the dunk over Blazers center Robin Lopez to give the Warriors an 85-84 lead with 3:18 to play. Then the 3-pointer that put them up 88-86 with 2:46 left. Then came the shot that strangled Portland, a driving floater over Wes Matthews to give the Warriors a 91-90 lead with 8.7 seconds remaining.
"Klay was terrific," coach Steve Kerr said. "He missed a wide-open three from the corner with less than a minute left, and then he comes back and hits the toughest shot of the night.
"This is what Klay has become. He's not just a jump shooter. He's a guy who can get into the paint and use his size and strength and get up shots like that."
Stephen Curry (21 points, six assists) finished off the Blazers with four free throws in the final 4.5 seconds, but this was, once again, Thompson's Show.
"Klay is phenomenal," teammate Draymond Green said. "If he keeps at this rate, he's a definite All-Star this year. And we're going to win a lot of games.''
THE GOOD: Thompson shined again, igniting the Warriors with his first quarter work, and closing out the game in style.
Curry easily won the battle of the All-Star point guards, outscoring Portland's Damian Lillard 21-11 in seven fewer minutes.
Center Andrew Bogut managed a quiet double-double, 11 points and 12 rebounds, adding three blocks, three assists and a steal.
Leandro Barbosa was dynamic off the bench, ably supporting Thompson and Curry by scoring 13 points in 16 minutes.
Green battled Blazers All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, making him sweat for his 26 points, and forced a clutch steal in the final seconds that led to Curry's free throws.
Kerr become the first coach in the team's 52-year West Coast history to win the first three games of his career with the Warriors.
THE BAD: Andre Iguodala, so solid in the preseason, seems to be struggling a bit with his new role coming off the bench. He had five points, six rebounds and five assists but is capable of greater impact.
Shaun Livingston played 16 minutes and clearly is still in preseason conditioning mode. His timing is off and he's learning by the minute. The rust is showing
The Warriors were clobbered on the glass, grabbing 41 rebounds while Portland snagged 56. Six different Blazers had at least six rebounds, while Bogut's 12 was twice as many as his closest teammate.
THE TAKE: Going on the road for the second half of a back-to-back set is a challenge, and the Warriors passed the test. Portland is a very good team, particularly at home.
That did not matter to the Warriors, certainly not to Thompson. He is playing as if on a mission. Whether it's about the new contract or simple growth from being a member of Team USA over the summer, or simply the quest to be great, the Warriors don't care.
They're one of three Western Conference teams at 3-0. They need what Thompson is providing, and there is no sign he's ready to stop.