Oakland, United States (AFP) - Golden State guard Klay Thompson has been happy to adjust to star forward Kevin Durant joining the Warriors, surrendering scoring chances to help turn the squad into an National Basketball Association (NBA) juggernaut.
Thompson averaged a career-high 22.3 points a game this season, his scoring numbers rising all six seasons in the league, but his play-off scoring is off 10 points a game and he had only six points in Thursday's 113-91 Warriors win over Cleveland to open the best-of-seven NBA Finals.
"That's not a big deal at all," Thompson said. "If I score six points a game and it gets us four wins and an NBA championship, I can do that every year.
"I'm not about getting numbers. I'm not about getting these gaudy stats. If you win the last game, you had a great season. And that's our goal. That's what we come to expect every year now."
While Thompson went 3-of-16 from the floor, his defensive work was impressive.
Rivals shot only 1-for-12 against him, allowing Durant to strike for 38 points and guard Stephen Curry to score 28.
"Obviously I could have shot the ball much better. Hope to make a few more of those on Sunday and instead of win by 20, win by 30, I guess," Thompson said with a laugh.
"I was happy with my performance on (the other) side of the ball, being locked in defensively. It didn't matter who I was guarding, I was trying to make it tough on them just to get a good look.
"If we have that same defensive effort collectively, we'll be really tough to beat."
The Warriors forced 20 turnovers while committing only four, matching an NBA Finals record low, and kept the Cavaliers to 34.9 per cent shooting (30-of-86).
"We know Cleveland is going to play better on Sunday," Thompson said.
"They're obviously not going to turn the ball over as much. They will probably shoot the ball at a higher clip. But I still think if we play defence like that, we can come away with the win."
Acting Warriors coach Mike Brown shrugged off inconsistent play-off outings from Thompson.
"To be a great shooter, you can't have a conscience, and when it comes to shooting the basketball, I don't think he does," Brown said.
"He knows he's a great shooter, if not the greatest in the world, and so he's not even thinking twice about it, he's going to let it go.
"That gives me the confidence that it's always going to go in. He's been doing so many other things for us that we need him for on the floor. He has defended well, dribble, drove and (passed) very well. And at the end of the day, he needs to be guarded. So that creates space for others to be able make plays."
The Warriors, off to a record 13-0 play-off start to match an NBA post-season win streak record, could become the first NBA champion to run through four play-off rounds undefeated.
But Golden State approaches history with caution.
The Warriors won a record 73 regular-season games last season only to fall one game short in losing the NBA Finals to Cleveland.
"Last year's play-offs felt like a war every game," Thompson said.
"This year we're 13-0 and playing at a very high level. But we've still got a long way to go. Our goal is a championship. But up to this point, you couldn't ask for a better start."
Or it could be magic.
Thompson autographed a toaster for a Warriors fan on March 13 and Golden State is 27-1 since, the only loss coming when several starters sat out for rest.
"That toaster is still living," Thompson said. "I hope that streak will continue because it's a beautiful streak.