By The Associated Press
When Klay Thompson gets hot, forget it.
Golden State evened up its Western Conference semifinal series with the Los Angeles Lakers at a game apiece on Thursday night, rolling to a 127-100 victory in Game 2.
And Thompson extended an NBA record in the process.
No other player has more than four playoff games with at least eight made 3-pointers. Thompson now has six, after going 8-for-11 from 3-point land in the win. Not surprisingly, the Warriors are 6-0 in those games where Thompson makes that many 3’s.
“That’s the best version of Klay, when he really’s going offensively but he takes great shots,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
Thompson’s Golden State teammate Stephen Curry has four playoff games with at least eight made 3’s, as do Damian Lillard and Ray Allen.
Chris Paul, Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell each have two such games — and nobody else has more than one.
Friday’s slate will see Denver seeking a 3-0 lead when it visits Phoenix, plus Game 3 of the now-knotted-up 76ers-Celtics series as it shifts to Philadelphia.
New York and Miami play Game 3 on Saturday, that game preceding Game 3 of Lakers-Warriors that night.
Boston and Philadelphia play Game 4 of their series on Sunday, followed by Game 4 of Denver-Phoenix. And on Monday, it’s Game 4’s for Knicks-Heat and Lakers-Warriors.
HOW TO WATCH
— The Boston-Philadelphia and Denver-Phoenix games on Friday are on ESPN.
— Saturday’s doubleheader — New York-Miami and Warriors-Lakers — will air on ABC.
— Sunday is a split, with Game 4 of Boston-Philadelphia on ESPN, followed by Game 4 of Denver-Phoenix on TNT.
— Monday’s New York-Miami and Golden State-Lakers games are both on TNT.
— Team broadcasters will no longer air games. Everything after the first round is exclusive to national windows and not available for local telecasts.
— The NBA Finals on ABC begin June 1.
Depending on how long their series with the Lakers goes, Golden State will play somewhere between 12 and 14 consecutive games in the state of California. Game 3 of Lakers-Warriors will be the defending champions’ 10th straight in their home state.
It’ll be their longest such run in more than a decade.
From Jan. 7 through Feb. 9, 2011, the Warriors played 16 in a row within the state’s borders — one at home, then a game at the Clippers, then five at home, then another one-game trip to play the Clippers, then eight more consecutively at home.
Nick Nurse, 2019 NBA champion. Frank Vogel, 2020 NBA champion. Mike Budenholzer, 2021 NBA champion.
All now fired by the teams they won those rings with.
Budenholzer was fired by the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, after leading his team to the best record in the NBA this season — but still falling to Miami in Round 1 of these playoffs.
The only coaches who have won a title and are still coaching the team that they won it with are Miami’s Erik Spoelstra and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.
Including a few interim coaches, the Bucks’ decision to fire Budenholzer starts the process of what will be the 286th NBA coaching change since Popovich became coach of the Spurs in 1996.
Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid was announced as this season’s MVP, and here’s a list of the other major award-winners this season:
— Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. won Defensive Player of the Year.
— De’Aaron Fox of Sacramento won the inaugural Clutch Player award.
— Sacramento’s Mike Brown became the first unanimous Coach of the Year.
— Boston’s Malcolm Brogdon won Sixth Man of the Year.
— Utah’s Lauri Markkanen was the easy winner of Most Improved Player.
— Orlando’s Paolo Banchero was a near-unanimous Rookie of the Year.
“You don’t get to this point in the season by it being easy. You have to buckle down, do your homework, the W’s and L’s — the wisdom and lessons — and look at ways you can get better and try not to make the same mistakes twice.” — Lakers coach Darvin Ham, after his team lost to Golden State in Game 2.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports