Poised for breakout season, Klay declines war of words with Terry

Poised for breakout season, Klay declines war of words with Terry

SAN DIEGO – Klay Thompson declined on Tuesday to get into a word competition with Bucks guard Jason Terry.

Figures. Thompson believes much more in competition than in conversation.

In a recent SiriusXM NBA Radio interview, Terry described Thompson as not a great player but a “B-side” player, a member of a team’s supporting cast.

[RELATED: Klay Thompson responds to Jason Terry's 'B-side player' remark]

Never mind that Thompson’s shooting has put him in the NBA record book. Never mind that Thompson is a two-time All-Star and a member of the U.S. Olympic team, which won a gold medal in August.

Asked about it after the Warriors practiced at UC-San Diego, Thompson expressed zero interest in Terry’s belief.

“My concern is really not trying to prove to Jason Terry I’m an elite superstar,” Thompson said. “It’s to do everything I can to help this team win ballgames.”

Thompson has done a better job of that each season, raising his scoring average and shooting percentages every season since his rookie year in 2011-12, last season reaching 22.1 points per game on 47.0-percent shooting. He also defends well enough to be among the league’s 10 best two-way players.

Yet he tends to be dismissed, and some of it may be his own reticence.

Klay Thompson plays his horn. He does not “blow” his horn.

Here’s an example: Asked on Tuesday about the startling rise in the Warriors’ national popularity the past couple years, Thompson cited two of his teammates.

“It’s globally, as well,” he said, “especially when you’ve got star power like Kevin Durant and Steph Curry on the team.”

Star power. Kevin Durant. Steph Curry.

Not Klay Thompson.

This may be the year that changes, even with Durant and Curry wearing the same jersey. Thompson’s stint with Team USA served as a springboard to what has been an impressive training camp and preseason.

“He came into camp in great shape, which I’m sure was because of his workouts and games with the Olympic team,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s well ahead of where he was at this time last year.”

Thompson through five preseason games leads the Warriors in scoring (19.6 per game) and his shooting 58.3 percent, including 48.6 percent beyond the arc. He has made all 10 of his free throws.

The addition of Durant could create even more open space, and Thompson likely will get cleaner looks that benefit one of the quickest releases in the league.

Not that Jason Terry – who also cited Spurs star Kawhi Leonard as a “B-side” player – would notice.

And not that Thompson would care about what Terry or anyone beyond the Warriors might think.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” he said. “At the end of the day, I go out there and play my hardest. To some people I can be a great player, a good player or an average player. It doesn’t matter.”

Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss


Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

OAKLAND -- If Quinn Cook plays at anything close to the level he performed Friday night against the Kings, the Warriors should avoid any catastrophic stumbling in the absence of their top three scorers.

They stumbled plenty in a 98-93 loss to Sacramento, but not because of Cook. The two-way player who has spent most of the season with G-League Santa Cruz scored a team-high 25 points, shot 10-of-13 from the field and played respectable defense.

He did more than could have been reasonably expected.

“I felt like this was coming,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was fantastic. He really lit it up and gave us a huge boost.”

The Warriors ran into problems elsewhere, shared among the usually reliable veterans who need to be particularly reliable in the absence of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

Usual starters Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia combined to shoot 6-of-20.

Usual reserves Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and Nick Young shot a collective 13-of-39.

In the second half, when Warriors mustered only 34 points -- a season-low for any half -- the six vets combined to take 32 shots and missed 24.

Those are atrocious numbers and they explain what went wrong in a game that was there for the taking.

They’re also an anomaly.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Green said. “But we got some good shots. We got ‘Dre on a couple of pull-ups in the lane, I got a couple open shots, Nick got a couple open shots, Zaza got a couple open ones. D-West had one pop in and out. (Kevon Looney) had two pop in and out.

“We just got cold. But hopefully those shots will fall tomorrow.”

West, returning after missing four games with a cyst on his right arm, was 1-of-6 from the field. He came into this game as a 60.8-percent shooter this season.

Igoudala was 4-of-10; he shot 70 percent over the previous 10 games. Young was 5-of-15, well below his 44-percent shooting this season. Livingston’s 3-of-8 shooting is uncharacteristic of someone shooting at least 50 percent for four years running.

If history is any indication, Green (5-of-14) and Pachulia (1-of-6) are not going continue to miss at the rate they did in this game, the first this season in which the Warriors were without all three of their top scorers.

If history is any indication, the Warriors can’t be counted on to score 34 points on 27.3-percent shooting in the second half of a game.

“I loved how our guys battled,” Kerr said. “They really competed well and made some big plays. We just couldn’t get the ball to go down quite enough in the second half.”

That’s going to change, perhaps as soon as Saturday night in Phoenix, were the Suns are playing to lose.

So if Cook plays steady basketball, the Warriors will fall off and their fans won’t become a basket case while waiting for the three shooters. The Warriors surely believe that.

“He really showed up. I’ve been waiting on that Quinn,” Green said. “We needed that. It was great for him to come out and play like that. And most importantly, his shots were falling. Since he’s been playing (more often) he’s been playing well, but his shots weren’t really falling. But tonight, they fell for him.”

They won’t always fall at a rate of 77 percent. They won’t have to once his teammates drop in a few more of their own shots.

Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings


Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings

OAKLAND -- Omri Casspi sustained a sprained right ankle with 9:00 left in the second quarter of the Warriors-Kings game Friday night and did not return.

After dropping in a short hook shot with 9:04 left in the quarter, Casspi landed awkwardly, rolling his ankle and dropping to the floor clutching his lower leg. Down for a couple minutes, he eventually got up and limped into the locker room, accompanied by physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane.

Casspi played six minutes off the bench, producing 6 points, one assist and one rebound against his former team.

He joins Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Pat McCaw and Klay Thompson on the sideline.