Golden State Warriors all-star shooting guard Klay Thompson sprained his ankle in Tuesday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers, according to ESPN. The injury occurred in the final minute of the Warriors’ 131-123 win in Indiana as Thompson tried to block the shot of Chase Budinger. X-rays taken after the game came back negative, and the 25-year old stressed to reporters that the setback should be minimal and that he should be ready to play by Friday or Saturday of this week.
“It’s probably going to be sore for a couple days, but I should be back in no time… I’ll be all right, I’ve rolled an ankle before.”
Thompson’s injury came on the heels of his best performance of the year, as he scored a team and season-high 39 points in the victory with 10 three-pointers. His previous high of 26 on the year came this past Saturday in a win against the Toronto Raptors. However, his career-high came last season when he poured in 52 against the Sacramento Kings, including 37 in the 3rd quarter alone, the most in any quarter in NBA history. Tuesday marked the third time already this year that Golden State eclipsed the 130-point mark, with Thompson playing a large part.
Klay Thompson has an injury history, albeit minimal. He missed the Warriors’ overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets last month because of back soreness but returned to play 34 minutes in the following game, a win over Toronto. Thompson missed three consecutive games last March with a sprained ankle as the Warriors were in the midst of a 12-game winning streak. He also missed a game last November with a sprained right hand but returned to help lead the Warriors to 18 wins in their next 20 games. Perhaps his scariest injury, however, came in last season’s Western Conference Finals-clinching game against the Houston Rockets. Thompson suffered a concussion in Game 5 at Oracle Arena, but he passed concussion protocol and was available for the NBA Finals, which the Warriors won in six games against Cleveland.
For the season, Thompson is averaging 18.2 points per game, good for second on the team behind leading MVP-candidate Steph Curry. Curry’s 32.2 points per game lead the NBA at almost four points more per contest than James Harden, who sits in second. After his 10 three-pointers on Tuesday, Thompson is tied for third in the league with 68. Curry leads by a wide margin in that department as well, connecting on 119 from downtown.
Warriors’ fans hope Thompson isn’t lost for long, as the team is entrenched in a historic run. They’ve won 23 straight games to start the season, the most ever in any of the four major professional sports leagues. They haven’t lost a regular-season game at home since January 27, and with two more wins away from home, would tie the record for most consecutive road victories to start a season with 15. It just so happens they close out a seven-game road trip this week with dates at Boston and then at Milwaukee. The defending NBA champions will then return to Oracle for a five-game homestand beginning next Wednesday against the Suns. It also includes a Christmas Day date with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
A major strength of Klay Thompson and the Warriors is their seemingly unending depth. But that depth is being tested. Harrison Barnes has already missed the last six games, and the team announced he will not return at least for the duration of the road trip. Andrew Bogut missed Saturday’s game against the Raptors and was not at 100 percent in 23 minutes Tuesday night. But if Thompson is able to bounce back by Friday or Saturday, the Golden State Warriors have plenty of ammunition to remain the best team in the NBA.
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]