Warriors’ Klay Thompson Makes Triumphant NBA Return After 941 Days

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

After being sidelined for the span of 941 days, Klay Thompson made his return to the NBA. He logged 17 points in 20 minutes of action for the Golden State Warriors, providing a major source for energy and excitement from the Chase Center crowd.

It was a special moment, the Warriors’ star trio of Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Thompson had not played in a game together since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Green appeared for just the opening tip to honor Klay but sat the rest of the game due to injury.

“I will never forget the reception that Warriors fans gave us, especially myself,” Thompson said, via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “Gosh it was fun and it was worth every single day of being away and in that squat rack or on that shuttle board and all the conditioning days. It was worth every single moment.

“I am not going to say equivalent to winning a championship,” Thompson added of what this night felt like. “But man, it was pretty freaking close.”

A lot has happened since then, but for Golden State, they appear to be picking up right where they left off. The Cleveland Cavaliers were held to just 82 points on the night by the Warriors and even on a less-than-stellar offensive outing of their own, the Warriors won 96-82.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Questions Warriors Face As Thompson, Wiseman Near Returns

Klay Thompson wasn’t just out there to bring back old memories and be rusty trying to get back into form. He made some highly impressive plays and finished with 17 points on the night—including a highlight one-hand slam that began with him crossing up Jarrett Allen out on the perimeter after a switch.

“I’m going to remember that dunk,” Kevon Looney said. “The whole time here when Klay had perfect knees and Achilles, I don’t remember him dunking like that.”

Throughout the night, the home crowd was feeding the Warriors team with energy. Whether Thompson was converting on a catch-and-shoot look, attacking downhill for a pull-up, or throwing down that one-hand slam, the fans were loving it.

“I got to feel that energy when he got out there,” Curry said. “The first four shots he made, I had to catch myself. It felt like the game. Everybody was going nuts.”

LATEST NBA NEWS: Questions Warriors Face As Thompson, Wiseman Near Returns

Klay Thompson finished the night shooting 7-of-18 (38.9%) from the floor and 3-of-8 (37.5%) from three-point range. While it wasn’t quite the shooting splits he wanted, he’s grateful to be able to look at the stat sheet and see numbers by his name and have film to back home to and critique.

“I’m just so happy right now,” Thompson said. “I did not shoot as well as I wanted to, but I am just so happy that I can even look at the stat sheet and see my name there and all the stats again.”

“That was awesome. I love our Warriors fans. I know they were hurting for me the last two years. That was special. I knew it was going to be electric tonight. I tried to visualize this moment for years really. Gosh it was worth every second. … I am very thankful for that ovation and the love that they showered me. I will never forget that.”

LATEST NBA NEWS: Questions Warriors Face As Thompson, Wiseman Near Returns

It’s only a matter of time until Klay Thompson, one of the NBA’s greatest shooters of all-time, manages to find a rhythm. The Golden State Warriors already are a nightmare to attempt to slow down with Steph Curry and no shortage of talented complementary pieces. When Thompson is clicking at regular levels? Watch out… Oh, yeah, and James Wiseman will be back at some point, too.

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