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Klay Thompson Hasn't Missed a Playoff Game Due to Injury; 'I'm Not Starting Now'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 26:  Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates an offensive foul by Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers in the first half during Game Six of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
Harry How/Getty Images

Klay Thompson has played in 109 straight postseason games, and despite dealing with a sprained ankle suffered in Game 6 of the Golden State Warriors' series against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, Thompson isn't about to lose that streak.

"I've never missed a playoff game," he said after playing in Golden State's 104-100 win over the Houston Rockets on Sunday, per Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. "I'm not starting now."

Thompson didn't have his best performance in the win, finishing with 13 points (5-of-13 shooting from the field) with four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

He did play 41 minutes, however, and provided solid defense on James Harden and Chris Paul, among others. His teammate Andre Iguodala wasn't surprised in the least that Thompson toughed out the injury despite needing an MRI Saturday night after the ankle grew swollen and weak over the weekend:

"Whenever you evaluate a basketball player, ask yourself: 'Why does he play?' It will tell you a lot about a player. Does he play for the money? For the fame? For the attention? Because he likes it? Because he loves it?

"Klay just loves hooping. 'What else I'mma do?' That's what he probably thinks. 'Man, I don't want to sit out there watching. That sh-t's boring.' You know how he is. So it just builds that in your DNA. That's who he is."

His toughness has become his calling card amongst teammates.

"I don't know how he played on his ankle last year," Kevon Looney said, referencing a high ankle sprain he suffered in the NBA Finals. "He just finds a way to play. I've seen his finger pop out of place and he puts it back together and comes back and shoots 3s. That's just Klay."

The Warriors' stars each bring something different to the team. Steph Curry is the unflappable and loose sharpshooter, the embodiment of the team's revolutionary offensive style. Kevin Durant is the moody, unguardable offensive force of nature. Draymond Green is the defensive keystone and the fiery, emotional leader who often runs too hot. And Thompson is often considered the three-and-D sniper who marches to the beat of his own drum.

It's time to add toughness to that persona. 

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