Warriors win a thrilling double-overtime thriller owing to Thompson’s 54 points and Looney’s buzzer-beater

January 3, 2023

Even though it was the opening game of 2023, there won’t be another one like it for the rest of the year. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Atlanta Hawks 143-141, with the help of 54 points from Klay Thompson and a buzzer-beating putback layup from Kevon Looney in double overtime. This victory extended the Warriors’ winning run to five games.


Each team must have thought they had won and lost the game ten times in the tensest game of the season. Before Atlanta went on a run midway through the fourth quarter, Golden State held a 21-point advantage after the first half of regulation. With 0.6 seconds remaining, Donte DiVincenzo made a crucial triple, his first of the game, to force overtime. After the teams could not split up for the majority of the next ten minutes, Looney followed a Thompson miss to end the epic battle.


In one of the NBA season’s games played at Chase Center on Monday night, the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks battled it out in double overtime.


Both teams’ offenses started slowly, but Thompson erupted and made four of his first five three-point attempts. Before the seasoned sniper began looking for his shot to make a few more difficult jumpers, the first couple came via the trademark Warriors ball movement.


With seven three-pointers to help the Warriors reach 38 points in the last minutes of the first quarter, Thompson’s 16 points catalyzed their scoring outburst. Even though Trae Young contributed ten points of his own for Atlanta, Golden State maintained a 12-point advantage.


Patrick Baldwin Jr. began playing in the understaffed nine-man rotation at the beginning of the second quarter. He attempted four field goals in his first two and a half minutes, missing his first two three-point efforts before making one from the left corner. Baldwin could throw the ball on the floor on the next possession and finish beautifully with a finger-roll layup because John Collins closed out too quickly.


Shortly after, Baldwin drained another three, but the Hawks had attacked him on the other end. With Moses Moody, a second-year wing, in the lineup, the Warriors were +1 in the Baldwin minutes. Golden State, however, benefited greatly from the game’s ups and downs, as they grew their lead to 21 points before going into halftime with a 70-53 advantage.


Jordan Poole, Thompson’s backcourt partner, scored 12 points and provided four assists while contributing 22 points. The Warriors held a 27-4 advantage behind the 13 points from Anthony Lamb and the eight from Baldwin, with the difference coming from the bench scoring differential. Young and Collins were now the only two players on the Hawks’ two-for-16 (12.5%) first-half three-point shooting team.


Even though Steve Kerr quickly called a timeout, the Hawks’ 6-0 run to start the second half resulted from a few Warriors turnovers, and the tide had undoubtedly turned. Atlanta rallied back with 42 third-quarter points to take the lead with less than 30 seconds left, thanks to some powerful dunks and a bit more luck from the outside. After Moody split his free throw attempts to end the third, the score remained tied at 95 going into the fourth.


Dejounte Murray, the other All-Star guard for the Hawks, was on fire in the second half, and his improved play, along with Bogdan Bogdanovic’s, helped Atlanta go on a 20-11 run to start the fourth. The Warriors needed another solid defensive performance to match their victories over the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers, and they primarily received it in the last minutes.


With fewer than 40 seconds left, another Thompson three-pointer trimmed the margin to one. Still, Poole’s drive to the hoop only resulted in a turnover after he mishandled the ball off his thigh following a stop on the opposite end. DiVincenzo’s triple after two free throws by Trae Young, a missed jump shot from Thompson, and a block on Poole’s attempt.


The first overtime was just as exciting as the regular time. Before the Warriors went on an 8-0 run to grab a three-point lead with 1:35 left in the game; the Hawks took a five-point advantage. With 30 seconds left, Atlanta fought back to regain the lead, but another Thompson three-pointer gave Golden State a two-point gift and Thompson 50 points overall. Young added two more free throws to equalize the score, but Poole lost the ball on the Warriors’ final possession, preventing them from even setting up a shot to win.


With two minutes remaining in the second overtime, the score remained at 136 until Thompson found a cutting Lamb for a basket that broke the tie. A disorganized Warriors possession resulted in Draymond Green’s prayer three to beat the buzzer after a few more possessions went by without a basket. Although there were 43 seconds left in the game, the game’s history throughout the first 57+ minutes demonstrated that it was still far from finished despite a five-point lead.


After Thompson’s fading jump shot missed, Young, knotted the game again with a difficult floater in response to Murray’s first three. The Warriors ran the court with no timeouts remaining, and Thompson got a terrific look but missed the basket. Thankfully, Looney focused on avoiding a third OT and made the layup following his original tip-in.


Since recovering from the terrible knee and achilles injuries, Thompson has comfortably surpassed his previous best of 41 points with a final tally of 54 points on 21-for-39 shooting. Poole finished with 28 points, six rebounds, and five assists, but his subpar efficiency (11-for-31) and expensive mistakes made him one of the night’s most underwhelming players.


Lamb finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, and four assists off the bench, but Looney and Green’s seasoned frontcourt once again delivered. In addition to his usual defensive contribution, the latter had scored five points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists, while Looney finished with an even 20 rebounds, half of which were offensive, and 14 points.


On a franchise-record 59 attempts, Golden State managed just a 44.6% field goal percentage and a 32.2% three-point shooting percentage. Despite their eight failed free throw attempts (16-for-24) and 19 turnovers, they managed to keep their winning streak alive in the most fantastic way.


With games remaining in their eight-game homestand against the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, and a Phoenix Suns team without Devin Booker, the Warriors are now 20-18.

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