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Klay Thompson Makes Impactful Return Off the Bench, Drops 35 Points as Warriors Secure Victory

With an outstanding performance, Thompson recorded a season-high 35 points, providing a compelling reason for the Warriors to seriously consider maintaining the recent change.
Anna Ciao
By: Anna Ciao

In a noteworthy change to his usual role, Klay Thompson came off the bench for the first time since his rookie season. Despite this adjustment, he showcased his shooting prowess by sinking seven 3-pointers and achieving a season-high 35 points. Thompson's remarkable performance proved instrumental in the Golden State Warriors' thrilling 140-137 victory over the Utah Jazz.

The last time Thompson appeared as a reserve was on March 11, 2012, during the lockout-delayed first season of his career. Brandin Podziemski, a rookie guard, took his place in the starting lineup and contributed 13 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds.

Rather than allowing the change to affect him negatively, Thompson displayed resilience and responded admirably. His exceptional performance not only earned him the title of the sixth Golden State player to surpass 15,000 points but also highlighted his ability to adapt and excel in different circumstances.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Thompson's streak of 727 consecutive starts came to an end, making it the fourth-longest active streak in the NBA, trailing only DeMar DeRozan, Damian Lillard, and Stephen Curry.

On Thursday morning, Coach Steve Kerr had a conversation with Klay Thompson to inform him about the change in the starting lineup. Although Thompson wasn't thrilled with the decision, it served as motivation for his outstanding offensive performance, which has been somewhat inconsistent throughout the season.

Acknowledging the challenges faced by both Thompson and the team this season, Kerr believed that this adjustment could strike a balance to maximize Thompson's abilities and benefit the overall team performance. Kerr, who achieved his 500th victory as the coach of the Golden State Warriors, expressed admiration for Thompson's competitive spirit, citing his championship-winning experience, clutch shots, and ability to guard top-tier opponents.

Thompson's season has had its ups and downs as he continues to regain his form after missing the past two seasons due to injuries. He currently averages 17 points per game, his lowest since his second season, and has occasionally not been part of Coach Kerr's closing lineup.

During the game against the Utah Jazz, Thompson contributed 17 points in the Warriors' impressive 84-point first half. However, they relied on a missed 3-pointer by Collin Sexton to secure their eighth victory in ten games. Notably, the Warriors' 48-point second quarter set a new season high for both the team and their opponents, the Jazz.

In the second half, Thompson elevated his performance, particularly in the third quarter, where he showcased his dominance by scoring 18 points. Within a span of four minutes, he connected on five baskets, including four 3-pointers, which significantly contributed to the Golden State Warriors' commanding lead of 120-102 heading into the final quarter.

Thompson's 35-point outing off the bench marked the first time a Warriors player achieved such a feat since Ian Clark accomplished it in 2017 against the San Antonio Spurs, as reported by ESPN Stats & Information.

Reflecting on his role as a reserve, Thompson drew inspiration from former San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili, who achieved great success and earned a Hall of Fame candidacy despite predominantly coming off the bench throughout his career. Thompson embraced his new role, recognizing its significance and feeling deserving of the opportunity to make an impact.

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Anna Ciao
Written by: Anna Ciao
Anna Ciao is a sports content contributor at Betimate. Born and raised in a rural village in China, I have had a passion for football and various sports such as basketball, volleyball, badminton, from a young age. Along with diligent studies, I achieved an IELTS score of 8.0 in the English language, and I have become a content contributor specializing in sports, particularly football, as I am today. I hope that my articles are helpful to readers.

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