May 30, 2024

Following the Warriors’ victory over the Clippers on Thursday, 120-114, head coach Steve Kerr addresses the media.

SAN FRANCISCO: Following a month of uncertainty, criticism, and general perception that his career was on the verge of collapse, Klay Thompson mustered a powerful response on Thursday night.

Even at 33 years old, having undergone two major surgeries and playing a forgettable three quarters, he can still produce when the Warriors need a boost.

In the fourth quarter, Thompson’s ninety seconds of offensive mastery sparked Chase Center and his teammates, giving them the momentum they needed to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers 120-114 in the final seconds.

“It felt amazing,” Thompson remarked. I sometimes feel like I’m pressing. All I want is to make every attempt. If only basketball were that simple. Even when I’m 2-for-12, or whatever I was before that, I still feel proud of myself.

It appeared that Thompson might have had another one of those nights where his shot was allergic to the bottom of the net, as he was only 4 of 14 from the field, including 1 of 6 from beyond the arc. And then, whoa. With 9:53 left and the Warriors holding an 89-82 lead, Thompson went to work.

To increase the lead to 10, he sank a triple off a dribble-handoff assist from Jonathan Kuminga. Thompson then extended the lead to 13 with a traditional 3-point play. With 8:23 left, Klay converted one of his two offensive rebounds into a fast basket, extending the lead to 99-86 following a layup by Russell Westbrook that cut the lead to 11.

Stephen Curry, who was watching from the bench, called it a “timely run.”

“Be confident, Klay. Before that run, he didn’t have much going for him. Good things happen when you let the game come to you, Curry continued. It was wonderful to see him grinning. captivated the audience. It was really necessary.

Tyronn Lue of the Clippers came off the bench in response to Thompson’s surge, indicating a timeout. He could take no more of it.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr saw a glimpse of what he hopes to see more often as Klay disheveled crucial baskets and a 13-point lead to the second unit, which included Jonathan Kuminga, Cory Joseph, Brandin Podziemski, and Dario Sarić. Thompson scored 22 points in the end on 8 of 18 field goal attempts, including 2 of 7 from beyond the arc.

During the fourth quarter, he scored 10 points on 4 out of 5 shots, with 1 of 2 made from beyond the arc.

“He’s with that group to give them a scorer, that’s why,” Kerr remarked. But like I mentioned, it seemed like the game rewarded him for just fighting without stopping or giving a thought to anything. He continued to shoot, and it seemed to bounce in his direction.

“I really expect that Klay for the remainder of the year.” The other night in Sacramento, I thought he was fantastic. He is a terrific player as long as he is persistent, doesn’t criticize himself, and plays with intensity on defense.

The Warriors maintained their lead throughout, but the Clippers persisted with an increased zeal. Teams tend to get shocked when someone scores ten points in ninety seconds, especially if they are playing under intense scrutiny.

About his 4 of 14 start, Thompson remarked, “I did not get discouraged.” “I would not have been happy if that was how it ended. Instead, I continued to look for good shots and maintained my optimism, and it was successful for me.

Five years on, Thompson is a different player than he was. Too much has been done to his body. However, this was a welcome throwback to a shooter who has so many times carried the Warriors so brilliantly.

This evening, ninety seconds seemed to appear out of nowhere. That’s the thing about the shooting of Klay. He’s always had the capacity to change from terrible to fantastic in an instant.

This evening served as evidence that, despite all the talk swirling around Thompson’s mind, his unique talent hasn’t entirely left him. It may not happen as frequently as it once did.

 

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