Sunday, January 23, 2022

Klay Thompson gets first bucket in return with running double-clutch floater in first quarter vs. Cavaliers

Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors
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In his first half of action in over two and a half years, Klay Thompson scored seven points on 3-of-9 shooting. He certainly didn’t shy away from any shots, and made his first bucket — a running, double-clutch floater less — than 40 seconds in the game. 

That is a moment for the ages. Thompson, one of the most universally beloved players in the league, hasn’t played in an NBA game in over two and half calendar years. He tore his ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 Finals, then after a year rehabbing that injury, Thompson tore his Achilles tendon just prior to 2020 training camp, resulting in his missing all of last season, too. 

So this has been a long time coming, and now that the ice has been broken, the Warriors, who defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-82 Sunday night, can concentrate on easing Thompson back into their rotations until he’s off a minutes restriction. 

For all the feels of Thompson’s return, this ultimately is about Golden State competing for a championship, and quietly they have just the 26th-ranked offense since Dec. 1. Thompson will clearly take a lot of pressure off Curry, who is having the worst shooting season of his career so far. What will be most interesting is the defensive end and whether Thompson can resume his elite production guarding the league’s best wings and point guards. 

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