Warriors' Klay Thompson returns to action for the first time in 941 days
Klay Thompson returned to the Warriors lineup Sunday night against the Cavaliers for the first time after missing two consecutive seasons with ACL and Achilles tears, scoring 17 points in 20 minutes of action.
The matchup —which Golden State won 96-82 — marked 941 days since the last time the Warriors star played in an NBA game.
Chase Center shook as the five-time All-Star was introduced under its roof for the first time since it opened in September 2019.
"I was nervous to start, but I'm just so grateful to be out here — and the love I received pre-game, the video tributes, it was special. It's a night I'll never forget and it lived up to all the hype," Thompson said after the game. "There were still four or five shots I should have made, but I'm just happy I'm here and can say that."
Thompson started alongside Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney and Draymond Green. Green took the court for tipoff to honor Thompson, but sat out the rest of the game due to calf tightness he experienced during warmup. Warriors coach Steve Kerr previously said he expected Thompson to play 15 to 20 minutes in his season debut, in four-to-five-minute bursts.
Thompson played for twenty minutes and did not play like he had been out of action for two seasons. He finished the night 7-of-18 with three 3-pointers. Curry led the Warriors, who shot 40.2 per cent from the field, with 28 points.
"It was an emotional night. I didn't know I was going to dunk on somebody," Thompson joked. "So hooray for me."