Pacific Notes: Thompson, Bagley, Davis, Clippers

The Warriorspostponed game Thursday in Denver allowed the team to hold a rare scrimmage, which served as a dress rehearsal for Klay Thompson‘s return, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Thompson teamed with backcourt partner Stephen Curry under game-like conditions for the first time since the 2019 NBA Finals, marking a significant step in his return to action after missing two full seasons with injuries.

“Being out there, going up and down with the first unit, that was a big moment for me,” Thompson said. “A silver lining in the NBA canceling the game.”

Thompson has been physically ready to play for about a month, Slater adds, but the team has been cautious to avoid any setbacks. His first game will take place at home, but it’s unlikely to happen Monday, and Slater notes that a January 9 contest against the Cavaliers seems to be emerging as the target date. Thompson will return to the starting lineup right away, but he’s not expected to be used in back-to-backs and will begin with a restriction of about 18 minutes per night.

“Somewhere around there,” he said. “We got such a great, deep team. I don’t need to come back and shoulder a huge load. We’re so deep and talented that I can ease into things, which I’m very grateful for.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • After beginning the season out of the rotation under former coach Luke Walton, Kings forward Marvin Bagley appears to have a secure spot in the starting lineup as long as he keeps playing well, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Bagley will make his fourth straight start today as interim coach Alvin Gentry looks for rebounding help. “We’ve been struggling with rebounding,” Gentry said. “We’re a small team when we play the way we’ve been playing. Marvin’s rebounding numbers have been really good, so we stuck him in there and I think his numbers continue to be good. … We’ll continue to play that group and hopefully our rebounding will get better because we’ve got more size out there.”
  • Terence Davis started six games in December while the Kings were short-handed, but he’ll be removed from the rotation now that other players have returned, Anderson adds in the same story. “It’s a tough situation, but I think it’s tough to play 10 guys. I think it’s tough to play 11 guys,” Gentry said. “You have to make a decision. That doesn’t mean he won’t play or won’t be in the lineup again, but right now I think it’s very difficult.”
  • The Clippers picked up a tough road win against the Nets Saturday despite having to rely on three players who weren’t on their roster at Christmas, notes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times.
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