Steph Curry Responds to Klay Thompson’s Return to Warriors’ Starting Lineup

Warriors' Klay Thompson

Getty Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors shoots the ball.

Klay Thompson returned to the Golden State Warriors and torched the Miami Heat with 28 points for a much-needed 113-92 win on Tuesday, March 26, on the road.

His Splash Brother, Stephen Curry, welcomed Thompson’s return to the Warriors starting five as it made the game easier for their wings.

“Obviously, his gravity, his ability to give us spacing on the floor. I think it was an effort to unlock [Jonathan Kuminga] and [Andrew Wiggins]. Give them driving lanes and get them more involved early in the game,” Curry said of Thompson after the win.

Thompson’s highest-scoring game since February 15 for the Warriors also helped Kuminga and Wiggins, who combined for 35 points on 15 of 28 shots.

Thompson hit 11 of 20 from the floor, including six 3-pointers as the Warriors regained a one-game lead over the surging Houston Rockets for the last play-in spot in the West.

“It’s helpful to have Klay out there doing what he does and it’s a credit to him just

in general and being able to respond to whatever he’s been asked to do this year whether it’s coming off the bench or it’s starting,” Curry added.

With Thompson and the pair of the Warriors wing scorching hot, they did not need Curry to lift them heavily as he’s used to this season. Curry played only 31 minutes and delivered 17 points on 7 of 15 shooting.

The Warriors superstar praised Thompson’s right approach to the game for staying even-keeled throughout his roller coaster season.

“Most people think that might be easy to just transition from one role to the other and you have to kind of prepare your mind to know and your body to be ready for whatever they’re throwing at you,” Curry said of Thompson. “So it’s a credit to him and his attitude and his preparation and going out there and hooping the way he does.”

Klay Thompson’s Approach

After initially pushing back on his move to the bench in mid-February, Thompson has embraced it. He had spot starts when Brandin Podziemski or Curry were not available due to injuries. But this is the first time he started with both players available.

Kerr explained it was for spacing purposes.

Thompson seized the opportunity to show he still has it in him.

“I just try to keep the same approach — have fun, communicate and get great looks. Just those three things,” Thompson said.

Thompson will become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

But the Warriors are hoping to re-sign him for less than what Thompson initially sought last offseason.

Klay Thompson’s Potential Free Agency Suitors

If Thompson continues his remarkable turnaround after a slow start to the season, he will be one of the most sought-after free agents this summer.

Teams with cap space such as the Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic can lure Thompson with a big contract, according to Bleacher Report’s salary cap guru Eric Pincus.

“The Warriors seem intent on getting below the luxury tax (or at least the second apron) this offseason. If so, Thompson is looking at a significant pay cut in free agency, which may lead to him looking elsewhere for better offers (perhaps from the Philadelphia 76ers or Orlando Magic),” Pincus wrote on February 27.

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