Klay Thompson not in Warriors’ starting lineup, comes off bench for first time since rookie season

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Klay Thompson played in a game he didn’t start for the first time since he was a Golden State rookie in 2012.

Thompson was not in the Warriors’ lineup Thursday night against the Utah Jazz, replaced at shooting guard by rookie Brandin Podziemski. Thompson, Stephen Curry’s longtime partner as the starting backcourt, entered the game in the first quarter.

It was the first time Thompson came off the bench since March 11, 2012, during the lockout-delayed first season of his career.

Thompson scored 17 points in 12 minutes in the first half — surpassing 15,000 career points — and the Warriors led 84-71 at halftime.

Thompson, who missed the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons because of injuries, has struggled at times this season. He is averaging 17 points, the lowest since his second season, and has occasionally not been part of Steve Kerr’s finishing lineup.

Thompson was on the court in the fourth quarter Wednesday but finished 4 of 14 for 12 points as the Warriors lost at home to the Los Angeles Clippers. They then had to play at Utah in a rescheduled game that was postponed Jan. 17 after Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic had a heart attack at a team dinner in Salt Lake City and died the next day.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

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