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Game 6 Klay: Origin of Klay Thompson’s Iconic Nickname Amid Another Game 6
- Klay Thompson has produced some career performances, especially in the playoffs
- His nickname of 'Game 6 Klay' is one of the greatest phenomenons in NBA history
- Ahead of another Game 6 for the Warriors, Sports Brief looks closer at his moniker
Klay Thompson will surely go down as one of the greatest shooters of all time alongside his Golden State Warriors teammate, Stephen Curry.
Thompson has been a major part of the Warriors' rise to NBA royalty in the last decade. He played his entire career with the Warriors and performed whenever he was needed.
The 33-year-old suffered back-to-back career-threatening injuries but has recaptured his former glory, becoming a key player for the Warriors, especially in their 2022 NBA championship run.
He may not be the biggest star like his fellow 'Splash Brother,' but he has shown he can turn it on when the bright lights are shining.
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For that reason, his moniker 'Game 6 Klay' was created. With his team facing elimination from the NBA playoffs, he has turned up superbly.
So, where did the nickname 'Game 6 Klay' come from?
Origin of 'Game 6 Klay'
The Warriors were a juggernaut in the 2015/16 season. They were coming off their first NBA title in 40 years, and they wanted to prove it was not a fluke.
They won an NBA record 73 games in the regular season. However, their postseason was far from smooth. In the Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, they went 3-1 down and were facing elimination. They then won Game 5 at home and needed to win again in Games 6 and 7.
The Game 5 win set the stage for one of the most iconic performances in NBA history. On May 28, 2016, Thompson erupted for 41 points and drained 11 3-pointers, a record that was broken by Damian Lillard, per NBC Sports.
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That night, a legend was born.
The Warriors went on to win Game 7 and proceeded to the NBA finals. There, they suffered the biggest collapse in the finals, squandering a 3-1 series lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Thompson's Game 6 stats
The four-time NBA champion has played a total of 13 Game 6s in his career, per Statmuse. His averages in those games: 20.0 points on 42.8 percent shooting from the field and 47.7 percent from 3-point range.
Here are his averages in Games 1 and 7, per Sporting News.
Points per game
Best 'Game 6 Klay' performances
Western Conference Finals - 2016
Thompson's 412 points and 11 three-pointers saved the Warriors' season. Many of the shots he took against the Thunder were tough and the performance cemented him as the second-greatest shooter in NBA history.
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Western Conference Finals - 2018
The Kevin Durant Warriors faced the Houston Rockets in the playoffs in 2018 and 2019. The Rockets, led by James Harden, were seemingly built to stop the Warriors.
Thompson delivered in Game 6 to force Game 7. He finished with 35 points on 13-of-23 shooting and 9-of-14 from three, per NBC Sports. Durant had an off night in the game, while Curry scored 29 as the Warriors won 115-86.
Semi-finals - 2019
With Durant injured, the Warriors had to beat the Rockets in Game 6. Thompson scored 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting and 7-of-13 from deep. Curry added 33 to close the series.
'Game 6 Klay' was on track to produce another masterclass in the 2019 NBA finals before he suffered an ACL injury.
Many expect Thompson to produce another Game 6 display against the Sacramento Kings to close out the series.
Thompson on Curry
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Sports Brief earlier reported on Thompson sending a heartfelt message to his teammate, Curry after the Warriors won game 4 at home.
The Splash Brothers have played 12 full seasons together in the NBA, with most of that time bringing success and sometimes agony.
Thompson hailed his teammate as being a hard worker who does not take shortcuts, but has also proven himself a great family man.
"I've admired Steph long before he was a Warrior... I just appreciate his hard work. I get to see it every day. The guy is in the best shape for a reason, he doesn't take shortcuts, and he's a great family man."