Klay Thompson returns to being a reserve after 727 games, but shines in Warriors victory

Almost 12 years ago, Klay Thompson hadn’t experienced a night like Thursday. The shooting guard was a reserve for the Golden State Warriors in the match against the Utah Jazz, something that had not happened since March 11, 2012, during the athlete’s freshman year. 

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There were 727 consecutive games as a starter. But Thompson wasn’t put off by starting on the bench. When he entered the court, he scored 35 points – his highest score of the season so far – and was the highlight of the Warriors’ 140-137 victory.

Thompson entered when seven minutes of the first quarter had already passed. Still, he recorded 17 points before halftime. For comparison purposes, Draymond Green, the Warriors’ second-highest scorer, scored 23 in the entire match. Stephen Curry had 16.

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“Throughout the game, when I was playing with the second team, I realized that I could be a focal point for the attack. That’s a fun role to play. I just wanted to take control and prove to the coach that I would respond like the champion that I am,” Thompson said after the game.

With 35 scored against the Jazz, Thompson still reached the 15,000-point mark in the NBA. He was the sixth player in Warriors history to do so, after Stephen Curry, Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Paul Arizin and Chris Mullin.

As a result, the Golden State Warriors have 27 wins and 26 losses this season, occupying 10th place in the Western Conference. The Utah Jazz are right behind, with 26 victories and 30 setbacks. Now, the NBA will take a break for All-Star Game weekend.

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