Klay Thompson scores 17 points on NBA return after 2.5-yr injury hell

Klay Thompson scores 17 points on his NBA comeback after a TWO-AND-A-HALF YEAR injury hell as the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-82

  • Klay Thompson made his long-awaited Golden State Warriors return on Sunday
  • He hasn’t played in the NBA since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals due to injuries
  • Thompson scored 17 points with three rebounds and one assists on his return
  • READ: Why the NBA world are delighted the five-time All-Star is back fit again

Klay Thompson scored 17 points on his return from two devastating injuries that sidelined him more than two-and-a-half years, helping the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-82 on Sunday night.

Thompson was seven of 18 from the field and three of eight from three-point range. He added three rebounds, an assist and a steal in 20 minutes, walking off the court to a thunderous ovation followed by chants of ‘Klay! Klay!’ from the Chase Center crowd.

The five-time All-Star, who also had three rebounds and one assist in 20 minutes of action, finally made his much-anticipated return, and reached two career milestones – 12,000 points and 1,800 3-pointers. 

Klay Thompson (right) made his NBA return on Sunday after 941 days out due to injuries

Thompson scored 17 points as the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-82

Golden State fans showed their support for their beloved shooting guard’s return on Sunday

Stephen Curry had 29 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Jordan Poole added 14 points for Golden State. The Warriors snapped a two-game losing streak to tie Phoenix for the NBA lead at 30-9. 

Lamar Stevens had 17 points and four rebounds for Cleveland.

Thompson missed 941 days and hadn’t played since tearing the ACL in his left knee in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against Toronto. While rehabbing from surgery for that injury, he tore his right Achilles tendon scrimmaging on his own in November 2020.

His running lay-up 40 seconds into Golden State’s 96-82 victory over Cleveland on Sunday night was a sign that the five-time All-Star is feeling just fine – even if coach Steve Kerr drew up the play for someone else.

‘He wasn’t shy, was he?’ Kerr said. ‘Not that we would ever expect Klay to be shy. I drew up the first play not for him but for him to catch it and move it on. I should have known better.’ 

Thompson brought the crowd to its feet with this emphatic dunk during the second quarter

‘I was so excited I saw a lane to the basket that I just took the opportunity,’ Thompson said of that first play. 

‘After that I thought it was going to be one of those nights where I might be unconscious. I did not shoot as well as I wanted to but I’m so happy I can even look at the stat sheet and see my name there. It’s been a long run. I’m not going to say it equivalent to winning a championship but it was pretty close.’  

Thompson got off to a slow start but showed plenty of the flash that made him a vital component on Golden State’s three championship teams from 2015-18.

At one point Thompson brought the crowd to its feet when he drove around a defender near the 3-point line and scored on a jarring one-handed dunk. Thompson snarled and pounded his chest as he walked back toward midcourt. Moments later he made his first three-pointer to go over 12,000 points and put the Warriors up 49-41.

After spending time on a stationary bicycle, Thompson started the third quarter and made three consecutive shots, including his 1,800th.

‘It was just amazing having him out there,’ Curry said on the television broadcast. 

The Chase Center was vociferous in support of the five-time All-Star throughout the game

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