Thursday, November 22, 2012 2:07 am
Thompson rallies Warriors past Nets 102-93
By MICHAEL WAGAMANAssociated Press
That's just the way Golden State coach Mark Jackson wants his second-year guard to think.
Two nights after going 2 for 14 from the floor and missing a potential game-winner at the end of regulation during an overtime win against Dallas, Thompson found his rhythm - in a big way.
Thompson made two 3-pointers and scored 10 of his 23 points during a pivotal run late in the third quarter and the Warriors held on to beat the Brooklyn Nets 102-93 on Wednesday night.
"I've said all along I'm not concerned about Klay's shooting," Jackson said. "That's like being worried about Albert Pujols not hitting. It's going to turn."
Thompson might not have the biceps or have the hefty contract to match the Los Angeles Angels slugger, but he came up big against the Nets.
The 11th overall pick in 2011, Thompson missed four of his first six shots but was almost flawless while sparking a 16-5 run at the end of the third quarter that put Golden State in front for good. He made an 18-foot jumper, followed with back-to-back 3-pointers and added a driving layup to give the Warriors a 70-65 lead.
After Reggie Evans made one of two free throw attempts for Brooklyn, Stephen Curry made a 3-pointer and was fouled by former Warriors teammate C.J. Watson with 2.5 seconds left in the quarter. Curry completed the four-point play to make it 74-66 heading into the final period.
Thompson made his third 3 of the night to push Golden State's lead to 96-84, then sealed the win with a backdoor layup with 52.7 seconds remaining. He also provided the bulk of the defense against Brooklyn's leading scorer Deron Williams, who was held to nine points on 4 of 12 shooting.
"I got in the gym and got my shot down a bit," Thompson said. "I just stayed with it and didn't get down on myself."
David Lee added 20 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for his fifth straight double-double while Stephen Curry had 25 points for Golden State.
The Warriors trailed by as much as 13 in the first half and didn't take their first lead until Carl Landry's layup with 2:42 left in the third, but outshot the Nets down the stretch and pulled away for their fourth win in five games.
It was a good night all around for Golden State and came on the heels of news that 7-foot center Andrew Bogut will return to practice Monday.
Brook Lopez scored 22 points for the Nets, who played without starting forward Gerald Wallace.
Brooklyn, playing the second half of a back-to-back after losing to the Los Angeles Lakers 95-90 on Tuesday, looked sluggish and tired after taking an early 39-26 lead.
"When we saw that lead, we got a little greedy and started thinking we could do it by ourselves," Williams said. "A lot of what happened out there was my fault. We didn't (do) the little things that you need to do to win games."
The Nets shot 73.7 percent in the first quarter, but went 24 of 64 (37.5 percent) the rest of the way and lost their second straight following a five-game winning streak.
Wallace was given the night off because of the back-to-back games, but it didn't seem to bother the Nets early.
Lopez got Brooklyn off to a fast start, but went to the bench midway through the first quarter after picking up his second foul.
Even without their 7-footer, the Nets seemed fine.
They shot 73.7 percent in the opening 12 minutes, had nine assists and took a 30-18 lead on a spinning layup in the lane by Williams with 23.8 seconds left.
Brooklyn extended its lead to 13 in the second quarter before Golden State went on a 15-6 run to close the gap. Lee had six points while Harrison Barnes had four, including a reverse under the basket that helped pull the Warriors within 46-41 at the half.
Golden State kept chipping away at the deficit after the break and pulled even at 58-all before Thompson hit his stride.
"Our defense really had a low grade in the third quarter," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "They ran it up our throats, and then offensively we couldn't get anything going."
Joe Johnson had 13 points and six assists for Brooklyn. Kris Humphries added 10 points and six rebounds.
Landry finished with 11 points and five rebounds for the Warriors, who snapped a three-game losing streak to the Nets.
Note: Golden State forward Brandon Rush revealed he has a torn MCL in his left knee, the same knee in which he suffered a season-ending torn ACL earlier this year. The MCL injury must heal before Rush can have ACL surgery, which means December at the earliest. ... The Warriors improved to 7-0 when outrebounding their opponents. ... Thompson's 23 points matched his season high.