NBA: Klay Thompson heating up as Warriors visit Clippers
Back on track after a recent two-game skid, the Golden State Warriors will go back on the road Monday to face the Los Angeles Clippers for the first time since late November.
The Warriors followed a nine-game winning streak with a two-game slide that they dispatched Saturday with a hard-fought 117-115 home victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Golden State’s Klay Thompson continues to show he is back in form after a two-year absence, scoring a season-high 33 points against the Lakers. His previous high in the 14 games of his return was 23 points, set twice.
Even more importantly for the Warriors is that Thompson’s killer instinct in the clutch has returned. He had 16 points in the fourth quarter alone as the Warriors overcame a six-point deficit with 3:47 to play. The comeback started with a 3-pointer from Thompson, one of three he hit in the final period on four attempts.
“I know it’s always in me but these things happen naturally,” Thompson said. “If I can plan to do that every fourth quarter, I would, but that’s just not the game of ball.”
Stephen Curry added 24 in the victory, a tick under his season average. More contributions came from rookie Jonathan Kuminga, who had 18 points and has averaged 16.7 over his last six games, more than double what he has scored on the season.
Even with Thompson back, the Warriors still are not completely through their injury woes. Andre Iguodala is day-to-day with a back injury, Draymond Green is out at least until next month with his own back issue and James Wiseman has been out indefinitely with a knee injury.
The Clippers are in the thick of their own injury problems. Kawhi Leonard (knee) has not played all season and co-leading man Paul George has been out since December with an elbow tear.
The Clippers earned a 99-97 victory on the road against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. But they still have dropped five of their last eight games going back to Jan. 28.
Now the Clippers face the Warriors, who they lost to twice in the early going, falling 115-113 in their season opener and losing 105-90 at home Nov. 28.
The Clippers survived a 45-point game from Luka Doncic to defeat the Mavericks, two days after losing at Dallas in a back-to-back set. Reggie Jackson had 24 points and eight assists for Los Angeles, while Terance Mann had 21 with nine rebounds and Marcus Morris Sr. had 20 points.
The Clippers won without new addition Norman Powell (foot), who was acquired last week in a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers. He is out indefinitely.
Mann, normally a wing, has been used as a point guard since Eric Bledsoe was moved to Portland in the Powell deal. Since the trade, Mann has scored 13.5 points per game with 4.3 assists to go along with 6.8 rebounds.
“I’m comfortable playing the position,” Mann said. “When I’m out there, I’m feeling like I have no lapses. I like the ball, I like being able to rebound and push it, and getting downhill and that’s exactly what I did (Saturday).”