Thompson re­turns from ill­ness to lead War­riors past Lak­ers

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Oto sit again Satur­day.

James’ rest was for what coach Luke Wal­ton called “load man­age­ment.” The four-time MVP had been set for his sec­ond game back but woke up Fri­day “very sore” af­ter play­ing 40 min­utes in the 123-120 over­time win against the Clip­pers. He fin­ished with 24 points, 14 re­bounds and nine as­sists.

“It took us some time to ad­just to what the new game plan was,” Wal­ton said.

Cousins drove for a filthy one-handed slam against Kyle Kuzma at the 5:28 mark of the third then stared him down and trash-talked to pick up a tech­ni­cal.

“I thought his dunk brought the arena to life and brought the team to life,” War­riors coach Steve Kerr said. “We were search­ing for en­ergy and emo­tion up un­til that point. This was a typ­i­cal game where you let your guard down a lit­tle be­cause the other team’s best player’s not play­ing, so there was no life in the build­ing and our guys weren’t gen­er­at­ing any en­ergy. That play changed all of that.”

Golden State had its 11game win­ning streak, long­est in the NBA this sea­son, snapped with a 113-104 loss to the 76ers on Thurs­day night in Cousins’ home de­but. The War­riors missed Thompson in that one.

He con­nected on his first four shots Satur­day with a 3 and fin­ished 10 for 15.

On Jan. 21 at L.A., Thompson tied an NBA record by mak­ing his first 10 at­tempts from 3-point range — go­ing 10 for 11 from deep over­all and hit­ting seven in the third quar­ter — on the way to 44 points in the War­riors’ 130-111 win.

Thompson doesn’t worry a bit about Curry’s shoot­ing touch, im­pressed at how he keeps fir­ing.

“The man is not im­mune from an off night, even though it’s very, very rare,” Thompson said. “Even when he’s 0 for 8 he’s go­ing to have that gun­ner men­tal­ity, and I think he’s earned that over his ca­reer.”

TIP-INS

Lak­ers: Re­serve C Tyson Chan­dler also rested for the Lak­ers . ... Los An­ge­les shot 7 for 27 from 3-point range.

War­riors: Du­rant notched his fourth pointsas­sists dou­ble-dou­ble of the sea­son . ... Upon learn­ing Nuggets coach Michael Malone would coach the West All-Stars with Den­ver’s 107-106 win at Min­nesota, a beam­ing, laugh­ing and fist-pump­ing Kerr said leav­ing the postgame in­ter­view room, “Take care, guys, have fun in Char­lotte.” ... Dray­mond Green had seven more as­sists to give him 75 in his past eight games. McGEE’S BLING Ex-War­riors cen­ter JaVale McGee re­ceived his cham­pi­onship ring at last. He had been sick and didn’t travel with the team to the Bay Area for the Christ­mas game.

McGee re­ceived his ring from Iguo­dala, who ini­tially pre­sented his for­mer team­mate with an empty box as a joke. McGee then held the ring to ei­ther side of the court and waved dur­ing a rous­ing ova­tion for the big man who spent two sea­sons in the Bay Area.

“JaVale was a big part of the last two cham­pi­onships,” Kerr said. “It’s only right to honor him and present him his ring and give him his mo­ment in front of our fans for them to say thank you.” RE­CRUIT­ING KLAY Lak­ers fans way up in the rafters chanted “We want Thompson! We want Thompson!” — he be­comes a free agent this sum­mer — as he shot free throws in the sec­ond quar­ter. His fa­ther, My­chal, was a star for Los An­ge­les.

“They should want Klay,” Kerr quipped. “If I were sit­ting with them I’d chant the same thing.” UP NEXT

Lak­ers: At In­di­ana on Tues­day.

War­riors: Host the Spurs on Wed­nes­day.

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