If you missed Klay Thompson’s historic shooting performance in December that won him the 2016-17 NBA Performance of the Year at the 2017 NBA Awards Show, you should probably invest in NBA League Pass.
Thompson exploded for 60 points, including a 40-point first half, in the Golden State Warriors’ 142-106 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday. Thompson shot 21-for-33 from the field (8-for-14 from downtown and 10-for-11 from the foul line) in just 29 minutes of play before Warriors coach Steve Kerr pulled him from the game near the end of the third quarter.
What’s more remarkable is how quickly Thompson scored with the ball in his hands. Golden State’s star guard touched the ball 52 times and took just 11 dribbles all game. His total time of possession — 90 seconds — averages out to 1.73 seconds per touch. Only one of his field goals were unassisted.
Thompson’s night was one for the record books. But there were levels to how efficiently he scored on this incredible December night.
Klay dribbled 11 times on his 21 field goals. ELEVEN. Had ball for 1.5 seconds per touch in the frontcourt. https://t.co/zznglgOEDm— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) December 6, 2016
Thompson’s 60 points were the most any player has scored in fewer than 30 minutes in NBA history.
Earlier this season, his Warriors teammate Stephen Curry tied Gilbert Arenas’ record of 46 points in the same amount of time. J.R. Smith launched 11 threes for 45 points against the Kings back in 2009, and Larry Bird scored 43 points in 29 minutes against Cleveland nearly 30 years ago.
He scored 60 quicker than Kobe, LeBron, and Carmelo.
Klay had the ball for about 90 sec, total. In the other 60-point games of the SportVU era, Kobe had it for 400, Bron for 390, and Melo 240.— Richard Yannow (@RichardYannow) December 6, 2016
Thompson’s time of possession on Monday was just a fraction of that of other players to go for 60 in recent memory. Kobe Bryant touched the ball 94 times and held it for 400 seconds when scored he 60 points in his final game at Staples Center last season. LeBron James held the rock for 390 seconds when he dropped 60 on the Bobcats, and Carmelo Anthony held it for 240 seconds when he broke Bernard King’s Madison Square Garden scoring record with 62 points, also against the Bobcats.
Thompson’s scoring pace was a hair short of Wilt’s 100-point game.
Wilt: 100 pts in 48 min = 2.08 pts per min— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 6, 2016
Klay: 60 pts in 29 min = 2.07 pts per min
That pace... unreal pic.twitter.com/0RYWsL3ygZ
The speed at which Thompson put up 60 points landed him at a scoring pace of 2.07 points per minute. That’s a pace just a fraction slower than Wilt Chamberlain, who set the longstanding NBA record of 100 points in 48 minutes.
Thompson’s 60-point night was as exciting as they come. But it’s the efficient fashion in which he did it that’s even more impressive. That’s why he beat out Devin Booker’s 70 and James Harden’s 53-point triple double for Performance of the Year.