Klay Thompson scored a season-high 38 points to spark the Golden State Warriors over defending NBA champion Milwaukee 122-109 on Saturday, snapping the Bucks’ six-game win streak.
In his best game since returning in January after missing 2 1/2 years with injuries, the 32-year-old guard hit 15-of-24 from the floor, including 8-of-14 from 3-point range, with six rebounds and five assists in 34 minutes.
“It’s not losing confidence. Never losing confidence,” Thompson said. “I’ve been through a lot. Just to be able to be out here and compete, it’s a blessing.”
Jordan Poole added 30 points for the Warriors, who got only eight points and eight assists from Stephen Curry, content to watch “Splash Brothers” partner Thompson unleash a superb display.
“I’m a perfectionist at times,” said Thompson. “(I had to) just be patient. Steve (Kerr, the Warriors’ coach) was telling me just to get great shots.”
Thompson missed the entire 2019-20 season with a torn left knee ligament and the entire 2020-21 campaign with an Achilles tendon injury, but came back in January and had his prior season-high of 33 points last month in a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
“It was a challenge but after being on so many great teams and knowing what it takes to get to that final stage, I knew how hard I had to work,” Thompson said. “I don’t want to peak yet. There’s still a long way to go.”
Golden State matched Memphis for second place in the Western Conference at 46-22 while the Bucks, led by 31 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo, fell to 42-26, second in the Eastern Conference, 2 1/2 games behind Miami.
Pascal Siakam scored 33 points and Scottie Barnes added 25 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds to ignite the Toronto Raptors to a 127-115 triumph at Denver.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Clarkson’s 45 leads Jazz
Jordan Clarkson scored 45 points off the bench on 15-of-21 shooting, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range, to lead the Utah Jazz over visiting Sacramento 134-125 despite 41 for the Kings from De’Aaron Fox.
French center Rudy Gobert, averaging 15.4 points and 14.7 assists for Utah, did not play due to a left foot sprain.
DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points and Montenegrin center Nikola Vucevic added 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls over visiting Cleveland 101-91. Darius Garland led the Cavaliers with 25 points.
Chicago’s Zach LaVine missed the game with a sore left knee but the Bulls welcomed back guard Alex Caruso, who has missed 22 games since been sidelined in January with a broken right wrist. Caruso had 11 points, four steals and four assists in 29 minutes off the bench.
Tyrese Haliburton scored 19 points and passed off 10 assists while Duane Washington added 19 off the bench to power Indiana to a 119-108 victory at San Antonio.
Jock Landale had a game-high 26 points off the Spurs bench while Tre Jones had nine points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for San Antonio.
Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards each scored 15 points and Jaylen Nowell had 16 off the bench as the balanced Minnesota Timberwolves had eight double-digit scorers in a 113-104 victory at Miami.
Jimmy Butler was out with a sore toe for the Heat, who were led by 30 points off the bench from Tyler Herro.
Miami forward Markieff Morris had six points and four rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench after being cleared to return to the Heat lineup on Saturday for the first time in four months.
Morris missed 58 games after suffering a whiplash injury in a scuffle during a November game at Denver.