Warriors Notes: Klay, Green, Kerr, Curry

Warriors reserve shooting guard Klay Thompson turned in a masterful 28-point performance in Golden State’s 113-92 road victory over the Heat on Tuesday, when he returned to the team’s starting lineup ahead of standout rookie Brandin PodziemskiAnthony Slater of The Athletic makes the case for Thompson, who had been on the bench for the Warriors since the middle of last month, to remain in the first five after his big night.

“Get a little more spacing on the floor to start the game,” head coach Steve Kerr said of his decision to elevate Thompson. “It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s permanent. Just felt like tonight it was important.”

Thompson did indeed start the next game, a 101-93 win over the Magic. He scored 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field.

According to Slater, prior to the Orlando game, the team’s five-man starting lineup of Thompson, All-Star point guard Stephen Curry, forwards Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga, and small-ball center Draymond Green in these two Florida games has outscored opponents by a margin of 55 points, across 157 minutes.

There’s more out of the Chase Center:

  • Green was ejected from Wednesday’s Warriors game against the Magic after less than four minutes on the floor, as the result of an exchange with referee Ray Acosta over a foul call. Curry and Kerr both weighed in on the impact of Green’s ejection, per Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “We need him,” Curry said. “He knows that. We all know that… So whatever we need to do to keep him on the floor and be available, that’s what’s got to happen. Especially at this point in the year. It was a tough way to start the game.” Kerr offered similar sentiments: “It was unfortunate. He deserved it. He’ll bounce back.” After the contest, crew chief Mitchell Ervin explained that the choice was not influenced by Green’s lengthy history of suspensions in the past.
  • One “influential” Warriors source seemed relatively unfazed by Green’s early ejection on Wednesday, Slater writes in another Athletic story. “What?” the source said. “Did we really just expect he was never gonna get ejected again?”
  • After the fact, Green seemed to agree with Kerr’s assessment of the ejection, according to ESPN. “I said what I said,” Green noted on his podcast, The Draymond Green Show. “I deserved to be kicked out at that point. If I’m all the way honest with y’all, kind of was trying to turn my body and angle it to go to the bench, but I said what I said a little too soon before angling my body.”
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