Klay Thompson Scores 35 in Bench Return, Leads Warriors to Victory

Warriors' Tactical Change Sparks Remarkable On-Court Transformation.

by Nouman Rasool
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Klay Thompson Scores 35 in Bench Return, Leads Warriors to Victory
© Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

In a riveting display of skill and determination, Klay Thompson, the esteemed Golden State Warriors' shooting guard, made a significant statement by coming off the bench for the first time since his inaugural NBA season, delivering a breathtaking performance with seven 3-pointers and achieving a season-high 35 points.

This stellar contribution was pivotal in propelling the Warriors to a nail-biting 140-137 victory against the Utah Jazz on their home turf this Thursday evening. Marking a significant shift in strategy, Thompson, who had consistently started in 727 consecutive games—a streak only surpassed by a select few, including DeMar DeRozan, Damian Lillard, and teammate Stephen Curry was replaced in the starting lineup by rookie sensation Brandin Podziemski.

Despite this, Thompson's resolve remained unshaken, embodying the spirit of a true athlete with his exceptional response to the change.

Kerr's Strategic Shift

Coach Steve Kerr, who achieved his 500th victory as the Warriors' coach in this game, shared insights into the morning's discussion that led to Thompson's role adjustment.

Acknowledging Thompson's initial dissatisfaction, Kerr praised his resilience and adaptability, suggesting that this new role could potentially harness Thompson's capabilities more effectively, thereby benefiting the team's overall dynamics.

This season has indeed been a rollercoaster for Thompson, marked by a struggle to regain his pre-injury form, with an average scoring that dipped to its lowest since his sophomore year. However, Thursday's game was a testament to Thompson's undying competitive spirit, reminiscent of his pivotal contributions to the Warriors' championship victories.

Thompson's explosive performance, particularly in the third quarter where he scored 18 points, including a series of 3-pointers, underscored his critical role in extending the Warriors' lead significantly. His achievement not only highlighted his individual prowess but also set a benchmark for bench players, drawing a parallel with the legendary Manu Ginobili, whose illustrious career is celebrated irrespective of his starting status.

The Warriors' offensive onslaught, especially during the second quarter where they racked up a season-high 48 points, set the stage for what was an electrifying game. Despite a formidable challenge posed by the Jazz, exemplified by Collin Sexton's near game-tying 3-pointer, the Warriors clinched their eighth win in the last ten games, thanks in no small part to Thompson's remarkable comeback performance.

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