OAKLAND — Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson limped to the podium at Oracle Arena on Saturday, 28 hours before the start of Game 2 of the NBA Finals. He grimaced.
“It’s not good, but I’m doing what I can to get out there,” Thompson said. “It’s something you definitely don’t want to have when you’re trying to win an NBA Championship.”
After sustaining a left lateral leg contusion with 6:17 left in the first quarter of a Game 1 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Thompson is officially listed as questionable. Thompson sustained the injury when Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith dove to intercept a pass to Thompson from Stephen Curry. He bowled into Thompson’s leg, nearer the ankle than the knee.
“I felt it in my ankle,” Thompson said in a teleconference on Friday. “I thought I just rolled it tough. Nothing in my knees or my legs. It was just a high ankle, and it trickled down lower as the night went on.”
Thompson went to the locker room, but returned at the start of the second quarter. He played 39:38 of the final 41 minutes, and finished with 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting, and 5-of-10 from three-point range.
“Klay is just a physical specimen,” said head coach Steve Kerr. “It’s just incredible — the resilience, the stamina to play both ends night after night, 40-plus minutes in the playoffs. He’s a machine.
Thompson is “still optimistic” that he will play in Game 2.
“I’m going to do everything I can … to get it right,” Thompson said.
Thompson — who missed a career-high eight games this year — has missed just 20 games over his entire career, including the preseason and playoffs.
“I’ve had a high pain tolerance since I’ve been a kid,” Thompson said in a teleconference on Friday. “At this point of the year, everyone is going to be a little banged up, so you have to play through it. You can be sore going into the summertime. That’s how I look at it.”
This postseason, Thompson is averaging 15.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists this postseason, shooting 43.7 percent from the floor and 42.4 percent from three-point range.
Were the Warriors playing on Saturday, Thompson said, he was “not sure” if he’d be able to go. But, he said, “I’m planning on playing” in Game 2.
“He obviously didn’t do much on the floor, but doesn’t really need to,” Curry said following practice. “Only worry about 5 o’clock tomorrow. So hopefully he’ll get some more treatment, recovery and keep making progress. If I was betting, I’d say Klay was playing just based on who he is and his attitude today, for sure.”
Golden State forward Andre Iguodala was not seen at practice on Saturday at Oracle Arena, and he remains doubtful for Game 2, with a bone bruise — officially a left lateral leg contusion — in his knee. Without Iguodala, the Warriors struggled defending LeBron James, who went off for a career-playoff-best 51 points, with eight assists and eight rebounds.
“It’s just day-to-day,” Kerr said Saturday. “Each day, he’s getting a little better, and he’s still doubtful for tomorrow, but making some strides.”