The Warriors got the 109-98 win over the Nets on Monday, but veteran All-Star Klay Thompson was noticeably absent late in the game during the fourth quarter.
The game was a close one, but the Dubs managed to take control of it in the second quarter, largely thanks to Steph Curry’s team-high 29 points.
When it got to the fourth, Klay was left on the bench for the last seven minutes-plus of the game.
Curry was asked about Klay’s benching after the win and gave an honest answer.
“He wants to shoot the ball betterm” Curry told Warriors on NBCS. “I know he wants to be out there on the floor. He’s a champion; he’s a guy that’s been as much a part of all of our success as anybody. The challenge as we get deeper into our careers, is the adjustments that we all have to make to try to continue to win at the highest level. The way this game works, there’s ebbs and flows. There’s down periods in the season. There’s times where it’s your time to shine. You have to stay locked in and stay ready. I haven’t talked to him specifically about it. But it’s about just staying positive, staying ready. He still played 30 minutes and he made a lot of timely plays for us. Just stay in it because everything comes back around.”
The game marked the second time during the Warriors’ last three contests that Klay was left out of late-game lineups and he spoke about the frustration of it all.
“Yeah [it’s an adjustment], you kidding me?,” Thompson told reporters. “To go from (being) one of the best players — it’s hard for anybody, I’ll be honest with you.”
Klay also added, “I feel great, physically. Mentally, probably a little different story, but such is life, you know?”
Thompson’s slump coincides with the looming trade deadline on Thursday.
Although a number of longtime insiders around the league have affirmed that Draymond Green and Klay won’t be traded by Golden State.
But it is the NBA, so anything could happen.