NBA

Klay Thompson: Full-strength Warriors 'going to be real scary'

By Sports Desk January 28, 2022

Klay Thompson warned that a full-strength Golden State Warriors are "going to be real scary" after he marked his return to form and fitness with a fine display on Thursday.

Thompson and Stephen Curry combined for 11 three-pointers as the Warriors strung together a fourth consecutive win with a 124-115 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

With 23 points, five rebounds and four assists to his name, it was a showing that suggested Thompson's injury woes were well behind him, with a combination of ACL and Achilles problems having sidelined him for two and a half years before his return earlier this month.

And with Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green among the players still waiting to come back into the side amid injury lay-offs, Thompson is excited to see what the Warriors can do when they have everyone available.

"I thought we were going to play like this my first game back. Maybe I was a little naive," he said.

"It's going to get better every night. And when our full squad is back, it's going to be real scary."

Curry finished with 29 points – including six triples – eight rebounds and six assists as the Warriors rallied from a three-point half-time deficit with a 38-20 third quarter to improve to 36-13, with the best home record (23-4) in the NBA.

Former Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, on the same night he was named an All-Star for the first time, contributed 19 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 31 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and Anthony Edwards added 27 points with six rebounds and six assists.

Coach Steve Kerr took huge encouragement from a performance that hinted at what might be to come from his side in the remainder of the season.

"It's a really good indicator of what our team can look like with Klay back and everybody healthy, for the most part, in terms of our shooters," he said.

"With these last couple of games, the spacing that we've had and the ball movement, we've gotten great shots."

Curry, whose three-point shooting had come in for scrutiny after a notable drop-off, was pleased to see his self-belief pay off as he put on a show.

"Stay confident, keep taking shots I feel like I can make," Curry said of his approach in the wake of the criticism that had come his way.

"It's the balance of maintaining who I am on the court and how I enjoy the game even when things aren't going my way. That joy has to remain. Everybody feeds off of it. If I'm in my feelings and thinking about my shot, it takes away from everything else that we do.

"When a couple goes down early, it's a good feeling. You want to ride that energy, that wave."

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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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