The Warriors are back and they’re better than ever. Klay Thompson bounced back from a one-game suspension by scoring 17 points as the Dubs demolished the Kings on Sunday night, 108-92. This is what we’ve been waiting for all year long—a fully healthy version of these Golden State Warriors!
Klay Thompson, the Golden State Warriors’ star shooting guard and one of the NBA’s top players, is back. And he was on full display in his team’s game against the Sacramento Kings last night.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Klay Thompson is a basketball player who is known for his sat in his seat, glanced ahead, and took it all in as his name was called last in the Golden State Warriors’ starting lineup.
It took 941 days to get to this point, which included one of Chase Center’s greatest roars ever.
Following a nearly 31-month absence that tested both his physical and emotional boundaries, the Warriors’ adored star guard made his long-awaited return to the court, scoring 17 points in 20 minutes in a 96-82 triumph against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The whole night was a Bay Area salute to Thompson, who was greeted like a hero.
“I’ll never forget the welcome we received from Warriors fans, particularly myself,” Thompson added. “Gosh, it was so much fun, and it was well worth every day of being away and on that squat rack or on that shuttle board, as well as all the conditioning days.” It was really worth every second.
“I’m not going to say it’s comparable to winning a championship,” Thompson said of how he felt that night. “But gosh, that was dangerously close.”
Thompson missed several early jumpers that he regularly makes short off the rim in his first game since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. But he rediscovered his range when he got hot and nailed three consecutive baskets in a three-minute span in the third quarter, scoring seven points.
The shooter wasn’t bashful with the trigger after missing 177 consecutive games, putting up 18 shots in 20 minutes.
Stephen Curry deadpanned, “That’s so Klay Thompson is a basketball player who is known for his.”
Thompson hit seven of his shots, including three of eight from beyond the arc. He also hit two career milestones: 12,000 points and 1,800 3-pointers.
But, as Curry put it, the night’s highlight was “a savage” driving dunk. With 2:56 remaining in the second quarter, Thompson raced by Cavs center Jarrett Allen before unleashing two-plus years of rage with a one-handed slam on both Lauri Markkanen and Dylan Windler.
After injuring his left ACL in the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors on June 13, 2019, and subsequently damaging his right Achilles in November 2020, Thompson demonstrated that he still has some of his explosiveness with the poster dunk.
Golden State center Kevon Looney remarked, “I’m going to remember that dunk.” “I don’t recall Klay dunking like that throughout his whole tenure here when he had excellent knees and Achilles.”
Thompson’s first basket, a driving runner amid traffic, took barely 40 seconds.
“I thought it would be one of those nights when I’d be unconscious after that,” Thompson added.
Thompson’s athletic ability was present, but his shot required some warm-up time. Thompson, jittery from the excitement, missed his first three 3-point tries before sinking his first triple of the season with 1:18 left in the half, much to the pleasure of a crowd eager to erupt whenever Thompson accomplished anything.
He started the second half with two midrange shots and a three-pointer. Thompson raced over to a corner and shouted a few things to the crowd after the Cavs called a timeout with 9:08 left in the third.
“I’ll never forget the kind welcome we received from Warriors supporters, particularly myself. It was a blast, and it was well worth every day spent away from home, in the squat rack, or on the shuttle board, as well as all the conditioning days. It was well worth every second…. I won’t say it’s comparable to winning a championship. But, wow, that was so close.”
Klay Thompson is a basketball player who is known for his
Thompson’s emotional health was nourished more than his physical state by his return on Sunday.
“To know that I can still dunk and that I can simply go to my positions, rise up, and shoot?” Thompson remarked. “It’s just going to get better from here.”
This day seemed out of the usual in every way. During the pregame, Warriors players donned various Thompson jerseys. Thompson rushed out of the Warriors’ locker room tunnel and onto the court more than an hour before tip, to the delight of the crowd who had already gathered to see Curry go through his warm-up ritual.
Thompson encouraged the onlookers by waving them on and clapping along with them. Thompson moved around a couple of circles, like a fighter who had just entered the ring, while the crowd cheered. Thompson then smiled as he started his shooting routine, knocking down his first six shots to a deafening applause.
Curry stated, “I got to experience that enthusiasm when he came out there.” “I had to catch myself on the first four shots he took. It seemed as though we were in the middle of a game. Everyone was going insane.”
That was just the beginning. The Warriors kept one of the most beloved players in team history for last when announcing the starting lineup.
And no Warrior wants to lose out on this opportunity. Draymond Green had been looking forward to this for weeks, and despite being a late scratch due to soreness in his left calf during warm-ups, Green nevertheless began the game and halted play with a foul seconds after tipoff to commemorate Thompson’s comeback.
The supporters in the building were surprised when Thompson returned to the bench for the last time. With 2:41 left in the game, he scored a 3-pointer before retiring to a standing ovation. Following then, a raucous “We want Klay!” chorus erupted.
Curry’s son, Canon, tossed the game ball to Thompson in the locker room.
Following that, Thompson found himself gazing at the stat sheet a few times during his press conference. Everything was as though he needed to double-check that everything was true and that it had occurred.
“Right now, I’m just really pleased,” Thompson added. “I didn’t shoot as well as I would have liked, but I’m just glad I can look at the stat sheet and see my name and all the numbers again.”
“That was fantastic. I adore our Warriors’ supporters. I’m sure they’ve been grieving for me for the last two years. That was unique. I had a feeling tonight was going to be electrifying. For years, I attempted to imagine this moment. It was well worth every second…. I am grateful for the standing ovation and the kindness they showed me. That is something I will never forget.”
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