Warriors’ Thompson carrying vintage form into the playoffs

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Klay Thompson’s form is now the least of Golden State’s concerns.

“The proof is on the floor of how he’s looked the last two weeks,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after Thompson scored a season-high 41 points in a 128-107 win. in New Orleans on Sunday night to end the regular season. station. “He’s been in a great groove now, so it’s a very good sign.”

Thompson’s recent play is one of the main reasons the Warriors are heading into the playoffs on a five-game winning streak. With teammate “Splash Brother” Stephen Curry sidelined with a foot injury, Thompson has scored 30 or more in three straight games.

Since Jan. 9, when he resumed a career derailed for more than two seasons by successive knee and Achilles tendon injuries, Thompson has averaged 20 points per game in 32 games.

“I pat myself on the back because when you go through the injuries that I had, there are some really slow days,” Thompson said. “There are so many tedious exercises and rebuilding your muscles to do what you love is challenging, something I’ve never had to do before. So doing it twice and getting an average (20 points) is inspiring to me and just makes us want to keep going, because I’m still just scratching the surface of what I can be.”

In New Orleans, Thompson looked like the sharpshooter who could single-handedly dominate a game.

He scored 21 points in the first half to put Golden State up by 20 points at halftime. And when New Orleans tried to make a game late in the third quarter, Thompson scored again with 15 points in a span of five minutes early in the fourth quarter.

His score came on everything from making reverse layups and floats to jump shots, spins and, of course, 3-pointers, seven of them.

Kerr said Thompson’s recent scoring display “doesn’t surprise me, really, because it’s Klay.”

“He’s one of the best shooters of all time,” Kerr continued. “The most important thing is that he just found his rhythm. He has gotten the conditioning out of it. In the beginning, he wanted everything back so badly that he was forcing the issue, and it’s been a lot of fun watching him adjust.”

Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) shoots for the basket against New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard Jared Harper (2) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, on Sunday April 10, 2022. The Warriors won 128-107.

Just in time for the third-seeded Warriors’ first playoff series in three seasons. They open their first-round series at home against Denver on Saturday night.

“I had a lot of ups and downs this season, but I stuck with it,” Thompson said. “I’ll keep doing that, and a big push heading into the playoffs. I can’t wait. I’m so excited for the playoffs. Having to watch the last two years was painful.”

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