The minutes milestone for Klay was the silver liner in the Bucks loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
CHICAGO — There wasn’t much good for the Warriors to pull off Thursday night’s bombing at the hands of the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. But head coach Steve Kerr saw some silver linings from the 118-99 loss, including Klay Thompson hitting a major milestone in minutes during the second half.
Thompson played 10 straight minutes during the third quarter Thursday at Fiserv Forum, signaling to coach Steve Kerr that things are going according to plan with the return of the five-time All-Star.
“It was good. It was important,” Kerr said Friday before the Warriors took on the Chicago Bulls at United Center. “I thought we had a few games in the game last night. I thought Klay played that 10 minute streak and, without really looking tired, it was great. I know he didn’t. didn’t shoot as well as he wanted to but his conditioning thought our second unit dove on the floor for stray bullets and fought like crazy down 25 with two minutes left was awesome .
“You need to have an identity as a team, and that identity needs to stay regardless of the results. I watched last night how what was a humbling first half turned into a good show of character and competitive courage in the second half.”
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In 20 minutes Thursday, Thompson scored just 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting from the field and shot just 2-of-7 from 3-point range. Thompson will sit out Friday night’s game against the Bulls as the Warriors bring him back into NBA life without playing him back to back.
But he’s expected to play Sunday when the Warriors visit the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Kerr thinks Thompson will see a slight increase in minutes in his fourth game.
“I think the plan is to flip it around a bit on Sunday,” Kerr said. “Not too much but a few minutes and go from there.”
In three games, Thompson is averaging 14.0 points per game on 35.7 percent shooting from the field while playing 20:02 minutes per game. Those numbers will all start to rise in the coming weeks as Thompson fully recovers his NBA legs from under him.