SAN FRANCISCO — Klay Thompson broke out for 42 points Friday night to help the undermanned Golden State Warriors torch the modest Houston Rockets 116-101.
Not Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Andre Iguodala and Gary Payton II? No problem.
After scoring a lousy 14-to-49 from 3-point land in a frustrating loss to the Los Angeles Lakers the night before, the Warriors lit it from the outside at the Chase Center on Friday, going 26-to- 54 (48.1%) from deep.
The Warriors led by as many as 19 in the third quarter, but the Rockets, who are the worst in the league this season at 13-46, cut them down to nine to enter the fourth quarter.
Then Thompson took over.
Thompson hit five 3s in the fourth quarter. He raised three fingers and beamed happily across the court after knocking down his 12th treble of the night, a high of the season.
Thompson, who was playing in just his second full set in a row since returning from two serious injuries last season, couldn’t be stopped and his teammates tried to feed him at every opportunity as the Warriors rolled to Rockets return to .500 in the season.
This was Thompson’s fourth time this season to surpass 40 points and it was his career game with double-digit 3-pointers. That’s the second most in NBA history behind you – Stephen Curry, who has counted 22 such games.
Thompson admitted on Feb. 14 to being a bit sluggish on the second night of his first full tackle. He would eventually settle in and end the night with 18 points on 7 of 14 shooting and 4 of 7 from deep.
Curry, Iguodala and Payton are indefinitely on hold with their respective injuries. Curry is recovering from a leg injury after hitting his knees with an opponent earlier this month. Iguodala is treating hip pain after playing three games in January. And Payton has been grappling with persistent pain stemming from off-season surgery to repair a core muscle.
Meanwhile, Wiggins is staying away from the team as he attends to a family matter, and Green was ruled out ahead of the tip after a bruised right knee landed him on the Warriors’ injury report earlier in the day. It’s unclear how serious Green’s injury is.
But Thompson showed up when the Warriors needed him most. Donte DiVincenzo, who had 15 points and five 3s, and Jordan Poole, who had 15 points and eight assists, were also key figures in the Warriors’ win.
The Warriors host the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Chase Center on Sunday. Tip-off is at 4:30 p.m
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