LOS ANGELES – Nothing could stop Klay Thompson, certainly not the Lakers’ defense.
The Golden State Warriors made sure of it, too, setting screens and calling plays for the star guard, who tied an NBA record by making his first 10 attempts from 3-point range on his way to scoring 44 points in a 130-111 victory Monday night.
“I’ve never hit 10 3s in a row in a game. That’s hard to do,” Thompson said. “I just happened to be on tonight and I’m happy I was able to do it in front of my family.”
The Warriors equaled a season high with their eighth consecutive victory. The two-time defending champions won their seventh straight road game, too.
“They’re starting to find their stride, not just against us, but against the league,” Los Angeles coach Luke Walton said.
Thompson stopped and popped from everywhere, finishing 10 of 11 from beyond the arc and 17 of 20 from the floor overall.
“We kind of sold out to look for Klay, to be honest,” Kevin Durant said. “When you’re knocking shots down like that, you have to continue to feed him until he goes cold and tonight I didn’t see that in sight.”
Thompson had 23 points in the third quarter, connecting on seven 3s as the Warriors stretched their lead to 36. He hopped and let his right arm hang in the air after hitting his seventh while Golden State fans at Staples Center cheered. He finally missed from deep late in the period.
“We had two, three guys flying at him,” Walton said.
Durant added 20 points and Stephen Curry had 11 points and 12 assists, going 2 of 10 from 3-point range for the Warriors.
“We had 41 assists tonight, so the ball was moving and Klay was just spectacular,” coach Steve Kerr said.
Ivica Zubac led Los Angeles with 18 points. Brandon Ingram added 17 and Kyle Kuzma had 16.
The Lakers were without their primary ball-handlers and playmakers in LeBron James, Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo. They fell to 5-9 without James, whose left groin strain has forced him out for the longest stretch of his 16-year career.
Pelicans 105, Grizzlies 85
In Memphis, Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic scored 21 points, Jahlil Okafor and Julius Randle had 20, and balanced New Orleans beat the Grizzlies without injured star Anthony Davis.
Okafor set a season high for points and added 10 rebounds filling in for Davis. Randle had 12 rebounds and Holiday grabbed 11 as New Orleans out-rebounded the Grizzlies 50-35. It was the Pelicans’ first game since announcing Davis would miss 1-2 weeks with a left index finger sprain.
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 22 points, while Mike Conley added 20 and eight assists for Memphis, which lost its sixth straight and 12th in the last 13.
Memphis rookie forward Yuta Watanabe came off the bench and played nearly six minutes. He was 0-for-2 from the floor and didn’t score. The George Washington University alum was called for two personal fouls.
76ers 121, Rockets 93
In Philadelphia, Joel Embiid had 32 points and 14 rebounds to lead the hosts past fellow MVP contender James Harden and Houston.
Harden, selected Western Conference player of the week earlier in the day, finished with 37 points — giving him 20 straight games with at least 30.
Embiid’s 24 first-half points helped the Sixers to a 65-50 halftime lead, and he punctuated an entertaining opening 24 minutes by pinning Harden’s layup attempt with 7.5 seconds left for a crowd-pleasing block. The duo had to be separated with 38.7 seconds left in the half, with each being issued a technical, after Harden took exception to Embiid’s foul on him.
Celtics 107, Heat 99
In Boston, Kyrie Irving had 26 points and 10 assists, Al Horford added 16 points and 12 rebounds and the Celtics beat Miami for their fourth straight victory.
Irving has had 20 or more points and 10 or more assists in 11 games, the first Celtics player to accomplish the feat since Hall of Famer Larry Bird, who also had 11 in 1986-87.
In Other Games
Bucks 116, Mavericks 106
Trail Blazers 109, Jazz 104
Nets 123, Kings 94
Thunder 127, Knicks 109
Wizards 101, Pistons 87
Magic 122, Hawks 103
Bulls 104, Cavaliers 88