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Thompson scores 38 to lead Warriors over Bucks

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Klay Thompson scored a season-high 38 points to spark the Golden State Warriors over defending NBA champion Milwaukee 122-109 on Saturday, snapping the Bucks’ six-game win streak.

In his best game since returning in January after missing two and a half years with injuries, the 32-year-old guard hit 15-of-24 from the floor, including eight-of-14 from three-point range, with six rebounds and five assists in 34 minutes.

“It’s not losing confidence. Never losing confidence,” Thompson said. “I’ve been through a lot. Just to be able to be out here and compete, it’s a blessing.”

Jordan Poole added 30 points for the Warriors, who got only eight points and eight assists from Stephen Curry, content to watch “Splash Brothers” partner Thompson unleash a superb display.

“I’m a perfectionist at times,” said Thompson. “(I had to) just be patient. Steve (Kerr, the Warriors’ coach) was telling me just to get great shots.”

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson shoots against Milwaukee Bucks centre Bobby Portis Jr. PHOTO: AP

Thompson missed the entire 2019-20 season with a torn left knee ligament and the entire 2020-21 campaign with an Achilles tendon injury, but came back in January and had his prior season-high of 33 points last month in a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

“It was a challenge but after being on so many great teams and knowing what it takes to get to that final stage, I knew how hard I had to work,” Thompson said. “I don’t want to peak yet. There’s still a long way to go.”

Golden State matched Memphis for second place in the Western Conference at 46-22 while the Bucks, led by 31 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo, fell to 42-26, second in the Eastern Conference, two and a half games behind Miami.

At Denver, Pascal Siakam scored 33 points and Scottie Barnes added 25 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds to ignite the Toronto Raptors to a 127-115 triumph.

Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Jordan Clarkson scored a career-high 45 points off the bench on 15-of-21 shooting, including seven-of-13 from three-point range, to lead the Utah Jazz over visiting Sacramento 134-125 despite 41 for the Kings from De’Aaron Fox.

French centre Rudy Gobert, averaging 15.4 points and 14.7 assists for Utah, did not play due to a left foot sprain. Mike Conley was also out for the Jazz.

Portland’s Josh Hart scored 44 points, hitting 15-of-21 from the floor and six-of-nine from three-point range, to lead the Trail Blazers over visiting Washington 127-118.

DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points and Montenegrin centre Nikola Vucevic added 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls over visiting Cleveland 101-91.