Klay Thompson returned from a two and a half year absence with 17 points in 20 minutes of play and Stephen Curry scored a game-high 28 points as the Golden State Warriors snapped a two-game losing streak with a 96-82 win over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, January 9 (Monday, January 10, Manila time).
Playing for the first time since tearing the ACL in his left knee in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, Thompson needed just 40 seconds to record his first basket of the season and less than a half to throw down his first dunk and splash his first three-pointer.
The five-time All-Star finished 3-for-8 on three-pointers and 7-for-18 overall from the field. He also had 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block following a 941-day absence that included a ruptured right Achilles in a comeback attempt before the 2020-21 season.
Inspired by Thompson’s return, the Warriors led by as many as 9 points in the first quarter, then 24 in the third before the Cavaliers, seeking a third win in their last four games, made things interesting in the final period.
A pair of three-pointers by Rajon Rondo helped the visitors get within 85-75 with 5:47 to go before Thompson’s third three-pointer of the night, with 3:45 remaining, helped Golden State keep the Cavaliers at arm’s length.
Curry shot 4-for-11 on three-pointers on a night when he and Thompson combined for 7 of Golden State’s 10 threes in the team’s 42 attempts.
Jordan Poole had a pair of three-pointers among his 14 points off the bench, while Andrew Wiggins added 10 for the Warriors, who swept the two-game season series.
Kevon Looney had 18 rebounds, 6 points, and 4 steals for Golden State, which outrebounded the taller Cavaliers 54-42.
Draymond Green, battling a tight left calf, started the game as a tribute to Thompson’s comeback. He committed an intentional foul seven seconds into the contest so that he could be removed and he never returned.
Lamar Stevens had 17 points to pace Cleveland, which was making its second stop on a six-game Western swing. The Cavaliers must endure the second half of a back-to-back Monday night at Sacramento.
Rondo finished with 15 points and Jarrett Allen 12 to complement 7 rebounds. Evan Mobley had 11 points for the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers lost despite outshooting the Warriors 42.7% to 40.2% from the field and 29.2% to 23.8% on three-pointers.
Rondo connected on 3 of Cleveland’s 7 three-pointers without a miss. – Rappler.com