Thompson scores 41, Warriors top Pelicans to clinch 3rd seed

Apr 10, 2022, 9:11 AM | Updated: 10:59 pm
New Orleans Pelicans forward Naji Marshall (8) goes to the basket against Golden State Warriors for...

New Orleans Pelicans forward Naji Marshall (8) goes to the basket against Golden State Warriors forward Nemanja Bjelica in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, April 10, 2022. The Warriors won 128-107. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Klay Thompson punctuated his regular season with a fist pump — a display of emotion stemming from far more than his latest flurry of fourth-quarter points.

Thompson made seven 3-pointers and scored a season-high 41 points for the Golden State Warriors, who landed the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 128-107 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night.

“What I battled through, I’ll never take a 40-ball lightly again,” said Thompson, who after being sidelined for more than two seasons with knee and Achilles injuries, now heads into the playoffs having scored 30-plus in three straight games.

“That’s hard to do in the NBA,” Thompson continued. “I don’t care who’s guarding you, who’s playing, 40 points is 40 points and that was a sweet night for myself.”

Jordan Poole added 22 for the Warriors, who opened up a 22-point lead in the second quarter and held on to close out the regular season on a five-game winning streak.

The Pelicans were already locked into the ninth spot in the Western Conference and limited the playing time for the usual starters ahead of their single-elimination play-in game on Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs. Brandon Ingram (right hamstring), Herbert Jones (bruised right tibia) and Jonas Valanciunas (sore right ankle) sat out, as well as top scoring reserve Devonte’ Graham.

Starting guard CJ McCollum played just five minutes in the first quarter before being given the rest of the night off. Naji Marshall led New Orleans with 19 points, while reserve Gary Clark added 17 points and rookie Trey Murphy III scored 15.

Pelicans coach Willie Green downplayed the Pelicans’ two losses to end the season, given that his team still has a chance to be part of the NBA playoffs after starting 3-16 and not having injured 2019 top overall draft pick Zion Williamson all season.

“We are proud of our group and where we are right now,” Green said. “The guys understand that they have worked extremely hard. They stayed together and we have a great opportunity.”

The Pelicans’ largely reserve lineup still whittled a 29-point deficit down to 11 late in the third quarter before Thompson put the game away with 15 points in a five-minute span early in the fourth period.

Thompson opened the spurt with an 11-foot turnaround, a reverse layup and then a driving floater as he was fouled, followed by a 15-foot pull-up and consecutive 3s to make it 108-86.

“He’s come back from this long two-and-a-half-year absence, so for him to look the way he has the last couple weeks but also kind of break this game open tonight in the last game of the regular season is significant,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Tonight was sort of a metaphor for Klay being back to Klay.”


Warriors: Thompson shot 50% from 3-point range against New Orleans. He has 14 games with at least 20 points and six with at least 30 since returning to the lineup on Jan. 9. … Golden State shot 60.5% overall (49 of 81) and 57.6% (19 of 33) from 3-point range. … Jonathan Kuminga scored 18 points and Damion Lee added 11.

Pelicans: Ingram missed his third straight game with the hamstring injury, which Green has described as a minor aggravation that shouldn’t keep him out of the play-in game. “He’s feeling much better,” Green said. “Our plan is for him to be ready to play Wednesday. But other than that, he’s working through it. He is getting better. But it just didn’t make sense to put him on the floor tonight.” … Undrafted rookie Jose Alvarado scored 12 points in a reserve role.


It’s still not clear whether Warriors leading scorer Stephen Curry will be back for Golden State’s playoff opener. He missed the final 12 games of the regular season because of a sprained ligament in his left foot.

“We’ll see how everything goes with Steph next week. There’s a chance he’ll be ready for Game 1. There’s a chance he might not,” Kerr said. “As the week goes on, we’ll see where Steph is. But I imagine this will go right down to the wire as far as Game 1 is concerned, whether we know his availability or not.”


Poole closed out the season as the NBA leader in free-throw percentage at 92.5%, just ahead of Curry at 92.3%.

“I want to give a shoutout to my mom. Ever since I was young, she told me there was nobody guarding me at the free-throw line, so I shouldn’t be missing too many of them,” Poole said. “It’s pretty cool.”


Warriors center Kevon Looney played in all 82 regular-season games, an accomplishment that Kerr praised in the context of Looney’s hip and neuropathy problems earlier in his career.

“It’s always an incredible badge of honor for a player to play 82 games and as a coach to be able to rely on somebody 82 times, it’s amazing,” Kerr said. “I’m thrilled for him.”


Warriors: Open the first round of the playoffs at home against Denver on Saturday night.

Pelicans: Host a Western Conference play-in game against San Antonio on Wednesday night.


More AP NBA: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bump & Stacy Show


Xander Schauffele, left, and Patrick Cantlay shake hands after finishing the third round of the Tra...
Associated Press

Schauffele takes 1-shot lead over buddy Cantlay at Travelers

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Xander Schauffele shot a 3-under 67 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over good friend and playing partner Patrick Cantlay into the final round of the Travelers Championship. Schauffele had a 17-under 193 total at TPC River Highlands. Cantlay shot 63. Rookie Sahith Theegala was third at 14 under after […]
16 hours ago
Baltimore Orioles' Jorge Mateo hits a double during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the...
Associated Press

Mateo slugs Orioles past White Sox for 4th straight win

CHICAGO (AP) — Jorge Mateo homered and doubled to lead the Orioles over the Chicago White Sox 6-2 Saturday, giving Baltimore its first four-game winning streak this season. Lance Lynn (1-1) retired eight straight batters before Mateo lifted a solo homer just over the left-center fence to put Baltimore ahead in the third. Baltimore coughed […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Sydney McLaughlin does it again, breaks own world record

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin bested her own world record in the 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. outdoor track and field championships Saturday. McLaughlin flashed a broad smile when her time was announced, then gave a thumbs-up. She crossed the finish line in 51.41 seconds, breaking her own record of 51.46 set […]
16 hours ago
St. Louis Cardinals' Ivan Herrera watches his sacrifice fly to score Edmundo Sosa during the eighth...
Associated Press

Herrera’s 8th inning sac fly helps Cardinals beat Cubs 5-3

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Iván Herrera hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning for his first career RBI and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 5-3 Saturday. Juan Yepez lined a one-out double to the left field wall off Cubs reliever Mark Leiter Jr. (1-2) in the eighth, and pinch-runner Edmundo […]
16 hours ago
In Gee Chun, of South Korea, left, looks for her ball in the rough on the 16th hole during the thir...
Associated Press

Chun shoots 75, lead down to 3 at Women’s PGA Championship

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — This was the moment the rest of the field needed: In Gee Chun standing near the trees, contemplating her situation and then eventually heading back to the point of her previous shot. A shaky third round cut her lead at the Women’s PGA Championship in half. Chun shot a 3-over 75 […]
16 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays' Isaac Paredes celebrates after hitting a two-run winning single to defeat the Pitts...
Associated Press

Paredes hits 2-run single as Rays rally past Pirates 6-5

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Isaac Paredes hit a solo homer in the eighth inning and a two-run single with two outs in the ninth, sending the Tampa Bay Rays to a 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday. Ji-Man Choi and Vidal Bruján reached on two-out walks before Jonathan Aranda’s pinch-hit single loaded the […]
16 hours ago
Thompson scores 41, Warriors top Pelicans to clinch 3rd seed