SAN FRANCISCO – When his identify was final featured within the Golden State Warriors beginning lineup, Klay Thompson sat on the bench, appeared forward and absorbed all of it.
This second, together with one of many loudest ovations in Chase Center historical past, took 941 days.
After being out for practically 31 months, the Warriors’ beloved star guard made his long-awaited return to the court docket following ACL and Achilles accidents. He scored 17 factors in 20 minutes in a 96-82 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The total night was a celebration within the Bay Area for Thompson, who was handled to a hero’s welcome.
“I will never forget the reception that Warriors fans gave us, especially me,” Thompson mentioned. “God, it was fun and it was worth every day to be out. It was worth every moment,” he added.
“I’m not going to say equivalent to winning a championship,” Thompson maintained on how he felt tonight … “But man, it was pretty close.”
In his first sport since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, Thompson missed a number of early pictures that he usually does. But he discovered his vary when he fired up and made three pictures in a row in a brief span through which he scored seven of his factors within the third quarter, “he added.
After missing 177 games in a row, the shooter was not shy on the ‘trigger’, hitting 18 shots in 20 minutes.
“That’s Klay Thompson,” Stephen Curry added blankly.
Thompson made seven shots, including a 3-of-8 from behind the arc. He also reached two milestones: 12,000 career points and 1,800 triples.
The Golden State team beat the Cavaliers 96 to 82 at home. Curry was the top figure with 28 points, although Klay had all eyes. The escort ended up with 17 units in his personal account. Stevens contributed 17 on the visit.
But the highlight of the night was a “ruthless” slam dunk, as Curry described it. Thompson edged out Cavs middle Jarrett Allen earlier than eliminating greater than two years of frustration with a one-handed dunk on Lauri Markkanen and Dylan Windler with 2:56 remaining within the second quarter.
With that poster dunk, Thompson confirmed he nonetheless has a few of his explosiveness after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament within the NBA Finals in opposition to the Toronto Raptors on June 13, 2019 after which tearing his proper Achilles tendon in November of 2020.