Warriors guard Klay Thomspon got ejected from a game for the first time in his decade-long pro career Tuesday night as Golden State got routed 134-105 by the Phoenix Suns.
The news that your Golden State Warriors got waxed by 29 points in a 134-105 loss to the the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night is sort of secondary. The big news from Tuesday night’s game in Phoenix is that Klay Thompson was ejected for the first time ever in his ten-season pro career, which the Bay Area News Group notes covers “759 regular season and postseason games.”
Real-time video of the incident is seen above, though it covers only the lead-up to the ejection. The game was still fairly close in the mid-third quarter (a third quarter which saw seven technical fouls assessed to both teams combined). Thompson makes a rather nice defensive play on Suns guard Devin Booker, forcing an inbounds pass and ultimately a shot clock violation on the Suns, which would seem a very good defensive stop for the Warriors.
Klay has been ejected from the game 😬 pic.twitter.com/oqN2WyB7Uq— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) October 26, 2022
But TNT went to a commercial as the most notable action unfolded. They replay that action above, which starts with Suns center Deandre Ayton getting a technical foul for mouthing off. But Klay Thompson and Devin Booker cannot stop fighting, both earning technical fouls, and then Thompson gets a second which means an automatic ejection. You can see Thompson still jawing as he is escorted to the locker room, pointing at his ring finger, an obvious reference to the four championship-ring gap between the two players.
Yet the Suns then went on a 22-9 run remainder of the quarter, and the Dubs never really got close in the fourth, Moreover, Thompson had an absolutely dismal game. As the Chronicle points out, “Thompson left the game having scored only two points on 1-of-8 shooting in 19 minutes. He was 0-for-5 on 3-pointers.”
"Steph got a lot more work to do now, them young guys need to step up... This team is not going to win the championship if those young guys don't carry the team."— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 26, 2022
Charles Barkley on the Warriors.
Longtime Warriors antagoniste Charles Barkley of course chimed in postgame, but more with wisdom than trash-talk.
“There was a time when Klay Thompson was the best two-way guard in the NBA, and he’s not the same guy,” Barkley said on the Inside the NBA postgame. “And that’s because of injuries. Now, is he done? No, I don’t think he’s done. I think he’s slowing down and it’s catching up with him. That’s why he’s frustrated.”
There will of course be a temptation to tie this to team’s recent punching turmoil, but this may just have been another night in the NBA. It was the Warriors’ first road game, and against an elite team. You lose some of those, that’s just how it is. We are not even 4% of the way into the NBA season. But there may be legitimate concern that Klay Thompson's skills are diminishing, and how gracefully he may be handling that.
Related: A 2022-23 Warriors Season Preview: After the Contracts and the Punch, It's Finally Time to Seize the Moment [SFist]
Image: PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 25: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after receiving two technical fouls and a game ejection during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on October 25, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Warriors 134-105. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)