Following the Golden State Warriors’ loss to the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, Klay Thompson reflected on a positive development, even in defeat.
Thompson, who has been plagued by injury issues the past several years, has been on the court more and more as the season progresses. As the Warriors prepare to take on the Utah Jazz at Salt Lake City on Wednesday night, the sharpshooter is hopeful his minutes and participation will continue to increase.
“It’s not fun having to watch, as long as I did, watch the team compete,” Thompson said. “I cherish every minute out there. I’m excited for when the time does come, and I’m just grateful to be healthy, playing December basketball. I haven’t done this in four years.”
Health also was a major topic around the Jazz heading into the showdown game. Utah veterans Mike Conley and Rudy Gay are aiming to return either Wednesday vs. the Warriors or Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves after being sidelined since the middle of November with injuries.
Conley (knee) and Gay (hand) fully participated in practice on Monday.
“Each day, it’s getting better. Today was my first time really practicing with contact,” Conley said. “Last week was just transitioning from walking to jogging to running. I still feel it, but it’s obviously good enough to kind of wear it down a little bit and see where it’s at.”
Said Gay: “It’s better. I wanted to take time to get the inflammation down. … It’s going to be there but I just have to play through some things.”
The Jazz are looking forward to adding their starting point guard and a key role player back into the rotation. Utah went 11-6 with Conley in the lineup and has struggled to a 3-6 record without him.
Utah has lost six of eight games, including a 116-111 setback at home to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday. The Jazz should be fresh after getting three full days off between games.
“There was a lot of lessons learned during this period,” Conley said, looking back at the weeks he missed. “Guys had to grow up in a lot of different aspects of their own game.”
Thompson is coming off a 28-point outing Monday. The Warriors saw their 10-game home winning streak snapped, but Thompson drained eight 3-pointers on the six-year anniversary of his memorable 60-point performance against Indiana. He moved ahead of Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd on the NBA’s all-time 3-pointers made list to 13th overall with 1,990.
“I grew up loving both of those guys, especially Dirk as a shooter and J-Kidd as a baller and a Bay legend,” Thompson said. “It means a lot to me. I don’t take that for granted. Two of the all-time greats right there.”
Thompson scored 20 points and Steph Curry tossed in 33 when Golden State defeated Utah 129-118 at San Francisco on Nov. 25. Both players made six 3-pointers.
The game at Utah kicks off a road-heavy stretch for the Warriors, who return home for an ABC-televised contest vs. Boston on Saturday night before embarking on a six-game road trip.
Utah wraps up a six-game homestand on Friday night vs. Rudy Gobert and the Timberwolves after splitting the first four contests.
–Field Level Media