Klay Thompson, Warriors
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Klay Thompson ready to go for Game 1 of NBA Finals

Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson has been cleared to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals after suffering a concussion last week in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals:

Thompson suffered the concussion in the fourth quarter of Game 5 against the Houston Rockets when Trevor Ariza kneed him in the head. Thompson went to the locker room, but he didn’t show any signs of a concussion initially and was diagnosed with a right ear laceration. When he returned from the locker room, the cut began to bleed and he needed stitches to stop it.

Thompson never returned to the game, and the Warriors went on to win the game and the series behind a big fourth quarter from Harrison Barnes. The celebration was on as Golden State advanced to its first NBA Finals in 40 years, but Thompson began to experience concussion symptoms after the game, and he was ultimately diagnosed with one. He wasn’t able to drive home that night and also threw up.

Because of this, Thompson couldn’t return to action until he passed the NBA’s concussion protocol, which he finally did on Tuesday in advance of the Finals.

Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, having Thompson available is huge for the Warriors, as he’s a major part of their offensive attack and a strong defender as well. Thompson shot the lights out over the first two rounds of the postseason before slumping in the first three games of the conference finals, going just 4-of-22 from three and struggling against James Harden.

However, Thompson began to find his groove again in the final two games of the series before suffering the concussion, making 10-of-19 from three. For the playoffs, he’s averaging 19.7 points while shooting 45.9 percent overall and 42.5 percent from three. Not quite as good as his regular-season numbers, but not too shabby nonetheless.

The Warriors opened as a six-point favorite over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Finals, and that number has mostly stayed steady, although the line has moved to 5½ points at some sportsbooks. Thompson will surely have a big say in what happens in Game 1 and the entire series in general.

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