The Golden State Warriors proved many doubters wrong last night. They can, in fact, win a playoff game without Stephen Curry. The reigning MVP sat out the Game Two victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday night.
Shaun Livingston replaced Curry in the starting five but Klay Thompson was the real star of the show as the Warriors took a 2-0 lead with an 115-106 win at the Oracle Arena.
In the absence of his fellow All-Star and backcourt partner, Thompson produced one of the best nights of his playoff career as he dropped 34 points in his 36 minutes on the hardwood.
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He shot 40 percent from the field and was three of eight from behind the three-point line for his points tally that was tied for the highest in his postseason career that has spanned 42 games.
Playing in his fourth playoff campaign, Thompson also dropped 34 points in an overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Two of the 2015 NBA Finals.
The most impressive aspect of his performance was his ice-cold streak from the free-throw line as he nailed 15 of his 16 attempts from the charity stripe to record a career-high number of points from the line.
It was a brilliant display of penetrative basketball from the shooting guard as his attacking style of play continually caused issues for the Rockets and saw him go to the line of a number of occasions.
There was concern among some Warriors fans that they would struggle without their chief scorer. However, there was never a worry in the Bay as the Dubs produced another dominant display.
Draymond Green had a dominant night on the glass as he pulled down 14 rebounds, including four on offence, he also had 12 points and eight assists.
Curry's situation was touch and go approaching the game and the point guard had even predicted 24 hours earlier that he would take part in proceedings.
However, it proved not to be and the rest could be vital for the franchise moving forward. Heading to Houston with a two-game lead, the Warriors will be confident of wrapping the series up in four.
They would prefer to have Curry back for the first game at the Toyota Center but their roster has proven to have more than enough ability to deal with the threat the Rockets possess.
James Harden will have to produce something extraordinary if he is to prolong their season but 'the Beard' can not do it all on his own against the well oiled Golden State machine.