Kenny Atkinson praises Klay Thompson’s stellar performance

The Golden State Warriors defeated the Utah Jazz on Monday (Feb. 12) to finally move back above the .500 mark. Steve Kerr was overseas attending the late Dejan Milojevic‘s service. As such, Kenny Atkinson stepped in as the head coach for the contest. However, it was Klay Thompson who stole the show.

The veteran wing, who has struggled for stretches of the current season, was one of the most impactful players for the Warriors. When speaking to the media after the game, Atkinson praised Thompson’s performance and his willingness to embrace the physicality required on the defensive end.

“Just really good composure,” Atkinson said. “He took his time and wasn’t rushed.  We obviously have guys who screen for him and find him, whether that’s in transition or in the half court…He had his legs tonight. He was phenomenal on both ends. His physicality. Shot challenges. He took (Lauri) Markkanen at the end. He said ‘I want Markkanen’ and did a really good job on him. Great offensive game, but I thought it was one of his better defensive games of the year.”

Thompson was arguably the Warriors’ best player during their win over the Jazz. He ended the contest with 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists, shooting 57.9% from the field and 42.9% from 3-point range.

Thompson’s performance came shortly after The Ringer published an article where the veteran guard admitted he would be willing to accept a lesser role as he continues to head into the twilight of his career. However, his Monday performance should remind him that he can still be an integral member of Golden State’s rotation.

Story originally appeared on Warriors Wire