Thompson’s 21 points, late 3s lead Warriors past Thunder

Feb 7, 2022, 5:45 AM | Updated: 9:33 pm
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, left, shoots the ball over Oklahoma City Thunder guard K...

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, left, shoots the ball over Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kenrich Williams in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)

(AP Photo/Kyle Phillips)

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 on Monday night 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% 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.

Jonathan Kuminga’s nasty two-handed putback jam early in the fourth pushed Golden State’s lead to 87-74.

Oklahoma City continued to battle. On one possession, the Thunder collected four offensive boards before Dort threw down a powerful two-handed putback dunk to trim Golden State’s lead to 95-83.

A steal and layup by Giddey sliced Golden State’s lead to 101-94 with just under three minutes remaining. Another layup by Giddey cut it to five before Thompson’s pair of 3-pointers. Curry punctuated the win with a 3 on which he turned around and walked the other way before it went in.

TIP-INS

Warriors: F Draymond Green remained out with a lower-back injury. … F Otto Porter returned after missing three games with tightness in his back. He scored two points in 16 minutes. … Kuminga had 16 points.

Thunder: F/C Mike Muscala sat out with a sore right ankle. … F Aaron Wiggins and F Isaiah Roby missed the game with sprained right ankles. … Dort wore a shield to protect his broken nose. … Rookie G Tre Mann started and scored 11 points. Leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander remains out with a sprained right ankle.

IGUODALA EXITS

Andre Iguodala played for the first time since Jan. 20 but exited with lower-back tightness and did not return. He had been out with a left hip injury. Iguodala finished with three points and three rebounds in six minutes.

“We need him,” Kerr said. “You could see how good he was in that first half. He just does so many things for us. So it’s definitely a concern.”

QUOTABLE

Bazley on his play this season: “I’ve been shooting the ball trash this year. My finishing at the rim hasn’t been great, either. I think there’s starting to be a little bit of a turnaround.”

UP NEXT

Warriors: Visit the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.

Thunder: Host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

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