Klay Thompson returns to help Warriors beat Cavaliers, 96-82


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Brooklyn Nets goalie James Harden (13) celebrates after his basket against the San Antonio Spurs in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, January 9, 2022, in New York City. (AP Photo / Jessie Alcheh)

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Klay Thompson scored 17 points on his return from two devastating injuries that sidelined him for over 2.5 years, helping the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-82 on Sunday night.

Thompson was 7 of 18 on the field and 3 of 8 at 3 points. He added three rebounds, an assist and a steal in 20 minutes, coming out of the field to a thunderous standing ovation followed by chants of “Klay! Klay! From the crowd at the Chase Center.

Stephen Curry had 29 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Jordan Poole added 14 points for Golden State. The Warriors ended a two-game losing streak to tie Phoenix for the NBA lead at 30-9.

Lamar Stevens had 17 points and four rebounds for Cleveland.

Thompson missed 941 days and hadn’t played since tearing his ACL in his left knee in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against Toronto. While recovering from surgery for the injury, he tore his right Achilles tendon by meddling on his own in November 2020.

The five-time All-Star has finally made his long-awaited comeback and achieved two career milestones – 12,000 points and 1,800 3 points.

GRIZZLIES 127, LAKERS 119

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Memphis set a franchise record with their ninth consecutive victory, getting 16 points and a breathtaking block from Ja Morant against Los Angeles.

Morant’s block came in the first quarter, when he flew behind Avery Bradley as he attempted a layup, caught the ball with both hands and hit it on the glass halfway up the rear panel. Morant also threw an alley-oop dunk on a lob from Bane in the third quarter, nearly hitting his head on the ledge one night after sitting down against the Clippers with a pain in his left thigh.

Desmond Bane had 23 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 21 and Memphis won for the 12th time in 13 road games.

LeBron James scored 23 of his 35 first-half points for Los Angeles. He made 14 of 19 shots and added seven assists.

MAVERICKS 113, BULLS 99

DALLAS (AP) – Luka Doncic had 22 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists for his third triple-double of the season and Dallas beat Chicago, posting their best winning streak at six and ending the Bulls at nine.

Doncic, back in the lineup after missing the previous game with a sprained right ankle, achieved his first triple-double since November 29. The Mavericks’ streak is the longest since they also claimed six straight wins in March-April 2016.

Kristaps Porzingis of Dallas missed his fifth straight game and coach Jason Kidd his second in a row while in NBA health and safety protocol. The Mavericks were led by assistant coach Sean Sweeney. Josh Green and Maxi Kleber topped this season with 18 points each for Dallas.

DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine scored 20 points each for Chicago.

NETS 121, SPURS 119, OT

NEW YORK (AP) – Rookie Cam Thomas made a runner in the lane with 1.4 seconds left in overtime and Brooklyn beat San Antonio to end a five-game losing streak at home.

Kevin Durant scored 28 points for the Nets and James Harden had 26 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. But both struggled after the Nets were 10 points ahead with four minutes left in regulation, forcing overtime.

The Spurs made Durant give up the ball in the Nets’ final possession and he handed it to Thomas, who gave Brooklyn their first home win since December 16.

Lonnie Walker IV scored 25 points for Spurs and Dejounte Murray with 19 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.

But the Spurs failed to get a good shot on settlement’s last possession or overtime in yet another frustrating loss.

WOOD WOLVES 141, ROCKETS 123

HOUSTON (AP) – Karl-Anthony Towns scored 40 points, a season record, D’Angelo Russell added 22 points and 10 assists and Minnesota beat Houston for their fourth straight victory.

Towns scored 22 points in the first half as Minnesota took a 75-54 lead. He finished 15 of 25 from the floor and added nine rebounds and seven assists. Jarred Vanderbilt has reached career highs of 21 points and 19 rebounds.

Christian Wood had 22 points and eight rebounds for Houston.

MOWER 106, HAWKS 93

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Amir Coffey tied a career-high 21 points, Serge Ibaka added 16 and Los Angeles beat Atlanta.

Coffey, undrafted from Minnesota in 2019, is on a two-part contract with the Clippers and the G-League. He scored 8 of 12 field goals and 5 of 8 with 3 points.

Bogdan Bogdanovic and Trae Young each had 19 points for Atlanta.

RAPTORS 105, PELICANS 101

TORONTO (AP) – Pascal Siakam had 29 points and 10 rebounds, Fred VanVleet scored 32 points and Toronto beat New Orleans for their sixth straight win, a season high.

VanVleet, who recorded his first career triple-double on Friday night against Utah, has scored 30 or more points six times in his last eight games.

Jonas Valanciunas had 20 points and 17 rebounds for New Orleans.

NUGGETS 99, THUNDER 95

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Nikola Jokic had 22 points and 18 rebounds to help Denver beat Oklahoma.

Austin Rivers scored a season-high 22 points and Jeff Green added 16 points. The Nuggets avenged a 108-94 loss to the Thunder on Dec. 22 in Oklahoma City.

Lu Dort scored 14 points for the Thunder. They have lost four games in a row.

MAGIC 102, MAGIC 100

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Kyle Kuzma had 27 points and a career-high 22 rebounds, Bradley Beal scored 20 points and Washington rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Orlando.

Washington snapped a two-game skid and beat Orlando for the second time this season.

Terrence Ross scored 32 points for Orlando, the worst in the NBA.

BLAZERS OF TRAIL 103 KINGS 88

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Anfernee Simons scored 31 points and Portland beat Sacramento.

Jusuf Nurkic had 14 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists to help the Trail Blazers end a two-game losing streak.

Tyrese Haliburton scored 17 points for the Kings.

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