OAKLAND – There was a bounce to Klay Thompson’s step late Monday night, and not just because he led the Warriors in scoring for the first time this season.
There was a bounce because Thompson’s aching back has subsided enough to allow him to, well, bounce. That alone is cause for good cheer, given he was in enough discomfort to consider taking a game or two off.
“I did, honestly. I really did,” Thompson told CSNBayArea.com after scoring 24 points in a 109-95 victory over Detroit. “Maybe I should have, too, because . . . why play hurt? I should have, honestly.
“But I played through it. And now I’m back to being pretty healthy.
“In retrospect, I probably should have sat out to get it right.”
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Retrospect is where Thompson will find shooting statistics below his norm, which invited questions. Was it a slump? Was the back nagging him? A career 41.8 percent shooter from beyond the arc, he shot 29.4 percent through five games before lifting it to 41.7 over the last three.
“These last two or three days are the best I’ve felt physically all season,” Thompson said.
“I’ve been dealing with the back stuff, so it was about getting the right kind of work in and now I feel almost 100 percent healthy again. That’s the biggest difference. I’m getting my legs back into my shots.”
It showed. Thompson’s 58.8-percent shooting (10-of-17, 4-of-7 beyond the arc) against the Pistons was his best this season and only the second time he has made more than half his shots.
Though the back problems surfaced the first week of the season, Thompson was determined to stay on the court. Naturally. Since arriving as a rookie in 2011, Thompson has been the closest thing the Warriors have to an iron man, playing in 314 of their 320 regular-season games.
So when his back flared up, Thompson tried to shrug it off.
“It was killing me after Houston (Oct. 30) and for a couple games after that,” he said. "But now I’m pretty much back to normal.”