NBA

Thompson impresses as Warriors rout Mavericks and says 'it felt good to be myself again'

By Sports Desk January 26, 2022

Klay Thompson said "it felt good to be myself again" after playing a season-high 25 minutes in the Golden State Warriors' 130-92 rout of the Dallas Mavericks.

Thompson is still getting up to speed having missed two and a half years, first with a serious knee injury then with a torn Achilles.

He sat out the Warriors previous two matches to rest his surgically repaired left knee but was part of a well-rounded offense that downed Luka Doncic and the Mavericks to help Golden State clock up a third straight win.

Thompson had 15 points alongside six assists, while Stephen Curry had 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Jonathan Kuminga added 22 points, while Jordan Poole had 17 off the bench for the title contenders.

"I really pride myself on my efficiency, so it felt good to be myself again," Thompson said of his performance.

"My mindset is just to play with energy, great focus and joy."

Head coach Steve Kerr believes it was Thompson's best performance since his comeback.

"I think this was Klay's best game in terms of his patience and allowing things to happen, he wasn't forcing it at all," Kerr said.

Doncic scored 25 points on an otherwise forgettable night for the Mavericks, whose misery was compounded by Tm Hardaway Jr going off court with a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot with seven minutes and 16 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

"I just want to say how sorry we are to hear that. You hate to see anybody get injured," Kerr said. 

"I just want to send him our regards from the organisation and hopefully he’s back sometime soon. I don’t know what the prognosis is. We feel terrible for him."

Doncic added of his team-mate: "That's just bad luck. I talked to him. He's disappointed. Every time you get injured you are sad, so we tried to cheer him up."

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  • Heat's Erik Spoelstra looking forward to 'throwback' Eastern Conference Finals Heat's Erik Spoelstra looking forward to 'throwback' Eastern Conference Finals

    Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said the Eastern Conference Finals will be an old-school defensive slugfest, and that he feels the best two teams made it.

    The Heat needed six games to triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers, while the Boston Celtics came back from 3-2 down against the Milwaukee Bucks to get the job done in Game 7.

    As a reward for getting their series out of the way early, the Heat will have five days of rest before Tuesday's Game 1, while the Celtics have just one proper rest day between series.

    Speaking to the media after Monday's practice, Spoelstra said it is shaping up as a series that will warm the heart of Heat president Pat Riley.

    "Pat's [Riley] probably is going to enjoy this," he said. "This is like a throwback series. 

    "If both teams are really on top of their games, this should be a series where neither team is scoring 130 points. Both teams hang their hats on rock-solid team defense, and making multiple efforts and being disciplined to schemes. 

    "So it will be a lot of plays and things in the margins… really, we were the two best teams in the East most of the season and it's fitting that we're moving into the conference finals.

    "Boston has played as well as anyone in the entire league once they got to 2022. It's not by accident. They're playing very strong basketball. They do it on both ends."

    Heat star Jimmy Butler was asked about his potential matchup against Jayson Tatum, and he had nothing but praise for the Celtics' best player.

    "He's one of the best in the game right now," he said. "As much attention as he draws on the offensive end – and then I think what's really impressive is the way that he's picked up his defensive intensity. 

    "You got to tip your hat to that and respect him, I think those are the guys that you want to go up against."

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