Golden State Warriors All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson is set to return to the court after missing the last two seasons due to an ACL tear and an Achilles injury. While there’s no guarantee he will be the same player he once was, Thompson does represent a crucial part of Golden State’s championship aspirations and the Warriors dynasty he helped create. Thompson is expected to start Sunday against the Cavaliers and will play between 15 to 20 minutes if everything goes to plan.
Thompson wasn’t a highly touted player coming out of Washington State, but the Warriors saw a pairing with him and Stephen Curry few others imagined. What has followed is the greatest shooting display in NBA history from the greatest shooting backcourt in NBA history, dubbed “The Splash Brothers”. As Thompson comes back with the Warriors looking to extend their championship window, here are some of his biggest moments on the court.
2016 WCF Game 6 vs. Thunder
Thompson hit 11 three-pointers in this game, which was a playoff record at the time. The Warriors won 108-101 to level the series at 3-3 and won Game 7 in the Bay Area to complete the 3-1 comeback. This was the 73-win Golden State team which subsequently blew a 3-1 lead to the Cavaliers in the Finals, but Thompson’s moment likely helped the franchise land Kevin Durant and stack up more championships.
Most players don’t score 37 points in a game. Thompson got that in one quarter, torching the Kings in the third period of this January contest. He went 13-13 from the floor in that quarter and finished the game with 52 points.
Warriors vs. Bulls, October 29, 2018
Thompson set the NBA record for most threes in a regular season game with 14, breaking out of a shooting slump he was going through at the time in a big way. I was at this game covering the NBA and at one point, the United Center crowd starting cheering for Thompson more than the depleted Bulls squad he was lighting up. The guard finished with 52 points in this game.
2015 NBA Finals - The first championship
This was one of the few times Thompson didn’t really close things out in style. He finished with just five points in Game 6 and averaged 15.3 points per game in the series. All that is moot when you win your first championship and complete a process which started since the day you were drafted. This is the first part of the Warriors dynasty.
Warriors vs. Pacers, December 5, 2016
This is Thompson’s career-best performance and the footage is insane. The guard barely took any dribbles but still managed to drop 60 on the Pacers. Thompson averaged a career-high 22.3 points per game in that 2016-17 season, which resulted in Golden State’s second championship as part of this dynasty.