Thompson has a season-high 33, Warriors edge Lakers 117-115 | Basketball
MICHAEL WAGAMAN – Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Klay Thompson scored 16 of his season-high 33 points in the fourth quarter, Stephen Curry had a layup with 46 seconds left and the Golden State Warriors held off the Los Angeles Lakers 117-115 on Saturday night, spoiling another big step from LeBron James.
Curry finished with 24 points and eight assists, while Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points to help the Warriors end a two-game losing streak. Golden State hasn’t lost three straight all season.
Thompson’s big night was in front of his father, former NBA player Mychal Thompson, who works on the Lakers radio show.
“It meant something special to do it for my dad,” Thompson said. “I don’t think he has seen me play for a few years. I know he was proud of me, and that’s always fun.
James had 26 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, but missed the first free throw after Curry fouled him while attempting a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left. He made the second and missed the third intentionally, but couldn’t chase the rebound in time to get a shot.
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“This one hurts,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “We were leading six with minutes to go. Just one of those nights where a lot of bad rebounds didn’t work for us.
Earlier in the night, James extended his streak of 25 or more points to 22 games and passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most points scored in the NBA combining the regular season and playoffs with 44,157. James tied the Abdul-Jabbar’s mark of 44,149 in the first half, then overtook it with a 3-pointer early in the third quarter.
Abdul-Jabbar still holds the career record for regular season games with 38,387 points, considered the more prestigious of the two scoring milestones. James, with 36,526, is also closing in on that one.
“We had the opportunity to win a big game tonight,” James said. “But in my whole career, whenever I’ve been linked with some of the greats, I’ve always been impressed.”
Thompson, who returned this season after missing 941 days with a pair of serious leg injuries, shot 12 of 22 and made four 3s, threes in the fourth quarter.
“I just got back into the game at a time when we desperately needed him,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “With our attack struggling to find a rhythm, he got hot and took control of the game. Klay is special. It goes beyond making hits. It brings electricity to the building which is difficult to quantify.
It was Thompson’s most points since scoring 43 against the Knicks on Jan. 8, 2019.
The Warriors needed it on a night when Curry was struggling from the perimeter. The NBA’s 3-point king was 1-for-8 from beyond the arc, but made up for it by going 9-for-9 on free throws.
Jonathan Kuminga added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors.
Russell Westbrook returned after missing a game and came out of his scoring crisis with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Lakers.
The Warriors led by 15 on Thompson’s corner 3 and Otto Porter Jr.’s layup before the Lakers closed the gap and went 65-62 at halftime after Avery’s 3-pointer Bradley.
Curry and Kuminga combined for 33 points in the first half on 12-of-19 shooting.
Austin Reaves chased Thompson from behind and blocked a potential layup during the Lakers’ run to open the fourth quarter. It’s the ninth block of the season for the 6-foot-5 rookie guard.
“He just has a look on his face, a bounce in his step and you can feel it coming.” – Kerr on watching Thompson on his fourth-quarter trip
Lakers: Vogel received a technical foul in the fourth quarter. Assistant coach Phil Handy received one in a timeout following a thunderous one-handed dunk from James in the first quarter.
Warriors: Curry needs four steals to tie Chris Mullin for the franchise record for steals. Curry has 1,356. … Andre Iguodala (lower back tightness) missed his third straight game.
Lakers: Face the Jazz in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The Lakers lost the season series last year but beat Utah 101-95 in January.
Warriors: Hit the road to face the Clippers on Monday. Golden State has won three of the last four against the Clippers including twice this season.
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