OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Klay Thompson is finding his groove.
In his 12th game back from injury, Thompson scored 21 points and the Golden State Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-98 for their ninth straight win.
Thompson went down with a torn ACL in his left knee in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
While rehabbing from surgery, he tore his right Achilles tendon in November 2020. He’s been slowly adding minutes to his workload, and it appears the five-time All-Star might be ready for the stretch run.
After the Thunder rallied late in the fourth quarter to cut Golden State’s lead to five, Thompson hit two 3-pointers – including one with just over a minute remaining – to put the Warriors up nine.
“It was great to see Klay hit those back-to-back 3s to kind of seal the win,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “Just fun to have him back, and he looks great out there. He’s moving great. It’s fun to be able to play him.”
Thompson’s late shots came in the same building where he made 11 3-pointers during a playoff win over the Thunder in the Western Conference finals back in 2016 that forced a Game 7. He said that didn’t cross his mind during this game.
“No, that was a long time ago, although that is a dear memory of mine,” he said.
Oklahoma City’s Darius Bazley said Thompson is still tough to guard, even at age 31 and after all the setbacks.
“He’s so good at shooting the ball, I feel like my hand doesn’t really do anything,” Bazley said. “You’ve kind of like just got to bank on him missing. There’s some players that are just so good that they don’t even see you.”
Stephen Curry added 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for the Warriors, who shot 50 per cent from the field.
Lu Dort scored 26 points and Bazley matched a season high with 20 for Oklahoma City. Josh Giddey added 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
The Thunder led 23-20 after one quarter before Golden State made 14 of 23 shots in the second to take a 56-46 lead at the break.
Andrew Wiggins scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half.