SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - With the clock ticking to the last second, Clay Thompson began dancing on the sidelines before moving away in tears during a celebration with her teammates.
After two major surgeries and two years of difficult rehabilitation, Thompson is back in form and returning the Golden State Warriors to the NBA Finals.
Thompson reached 32 points after beating the Dallas Mavericks 120-110 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final on Thursday night, and the Warriors advanced to their sixth final of the last eight seasons.
"It's really hard to put into words," Thompson said. “At this time last year, I started jogging again and started getting on the court. Feeling we have 'Run out of gas' emotionally, feeling overwhelmed.
Thompson tore his left ACL during the loss of Season-Ending Game 6 in the 2019 NBA Finals against Toronto and then tore his right Achilles tendon just before the 2020-21 season began.
With Golden State missing after missing post-season in both seasons, Thompson finally returned to action in January.
The performance against Mavericks shows that he is returning to his old stardom level. Thompson scored 19 points in the first half, including a 3-pointer which he paused with a signature shake from teammate Stephen Curry as the Warriors advanced to a 17-point halftime lead and the rest of the way was on the coast.
You can see how much he's been missing in the last few years, "said Dremond Green." We're lucky to have Clay Thompson back because we know how good he is. "
Andrew Wiggins added 18 points and 10 rebounds, Green added 17 points and Curry added 15 points and nine assists. He was elected MVP of the series.