Klay Thompson gave the Golden State Warriors quite a scare early in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
The team’s star guard twisted his knee awkwardly after a collision with J.R. Smith in the opening minutes of Game 1 and appeared to suffer what may have been a costly injury. He tried to walk off the injury but was quickly taken to the locker room after a consultation with a team doctor. Chris Haynes of ESPN initially reported that Thompson’s return was questionable, but Thompson was able to make it back to the court several minutes later.
Thompson appeared to twist his knee on the play as Smith undercut him while going for a steal. Thompson was seen limping back to the locker room afterward, sparking some immediate fears that he may have suffered a costly knee injury.
Klay Thompson has been averaging 20.5 points per game in the 2018 NBA Playoffs.
Thompson has been a key cog for the Warriors as they have advanced to their fourth consecutive NBA Finals. He was pivotal in getting the Warriors past the Houston Rockets, keying in for 35 points in a critical Game 6.
“I don’t know if I was born for it, but I definitely worked my butt off to get to this point. I mean, I guess you could say I was born for it,” Thompson said after the win, via ESPN. “I guess everything happens for a reason. That felt good, to be honest. I just wanted to play with as much passion as I could tonight. Probably sounded more vocal than I usually am. When your back’s against the wall, if your shot’s not falling, you can always control your passion and how hard you play. Usually when I do that, it trickles over to other aspects of my game.”
Thompson added 19 points in Game 7 and made several key plays during a third-quarter run that saw the Warriors put away the Rockets and advance to the NBA Finals.
This was the second scare for Golden State Warriors fans in as many series. In Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, Thompson injured his leg while going for a layup and had to be taken to the locker room for evaluation. As Sports Illustrated noted, Thompson was ultimately able to return later that game.
Klay Thompson appeared to suffer little effects of the injury after returning in the second quarter of Game 1, playing the remainder of the first half.