All-Star Klay Thompson will not play in Wednesday’s game against the Hawks and will likely be out at least a week with a right ankle sprain.
Thompson rolled his ankle Monday at the 5:21 mark of the third quarter against the Lakers when he drove to the basket and stepped on Tarik Black‘s foot.
Thompson left the game to have his ankle retaped, but returned to the floor for more action early in the fourth.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Thompson’s ankle was swollen after Monday’s game and that he is receiving treatment not as a precaution but as a necessity, and will be reevaluated in roughly seven days:
“It’s swollen. We’re treating it how it should be. This is not about anything other than he’s got a sprained ankle, it’s swollen and he needs to be out for a while.”
In a highly-anticipated battle of conference leaders, The Warriors face the East-leading Atlanta Hawks Wednesday for the third of a six-game game home stand.
The Hawks also enter the game without their sharpshooting All-Star guard. Kyle Korver suffered a broken nose thanks to the shoulder of Ed Davis while playing the Lakers Sunday and has been ruled out for the next three games.
Even with injuries shelving two All-Stars, the game — meaningless other than home court advantage in a potential NBA Finals matchup — can either give Atlanta bragging rights as the alpha dog or level the playing field with a season series split. Atlanta won 124-116 in the first matchup Feb. 6 at Philips Arena.
Kerr said Tuesday the most impressive thing about Atlanta is their fluid offense and how easily the team moves from option to option when and if the defense closes in. He added that the Warriors still need to improve in that area.
While Kerr praised Atlanta’s development, he laughed and wasn’t quite ready to cede superiority when asked if the Hawks are the better team:
“We’re different. We’re built differently. We probably run more stuff through our four and five … I do think we have a lot room for growth. It doesn’t mean we can’t accomplish what we want to accomplish.”
The Warriors are well aware of the hype surrounding Wednesday’s matchup and definitely want to prove themselves. But as Andrew Bogut told SFBay, win or lose, this game is not a championship and there are still bigger goals to be met:
“I’m not gonna lie and say it’s just like any other game. Obviously we want to win the game especially with what they did to us in Atlanta. But after the game, win or lose, we can’t be too heartsore afterwards because we have a bunch more games to finish off the season.”
The Warriors currently lead the Western Conference with a 53-13 record while the Hawks boast the East’s best record at 53-14. Tip off is 7:30 p.m. for Wednesday’s contest, which will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.