With the Warriors down 92-91 inside of 30 seconds, Ellis swung the ball to an open man on the right wing.
It was Klay Thompson, and he got a good look from 20 feet.
“I hadn’t airballed like that in awhile,” said Thompson, who finished with seven points on 2-for-15 shooting. “It felt good and everything, too. I thought it was in.”
After two free throws by Marcus Thornton, Golden State had the ball down 94-91 with 16.4 seconds left. Guess whom Jackson went to for the game-tying 3-pointer?
But the rookie started the play by going to the wrong spot. Then, he pump-faked himself out of a good look from 3, only to settle for a step-back 3-pointer that clanked.
JACKSON: “Klay made a mistake. But we got a good look out of it, and we learned from it.”
Thompson went 6 for 25 shooting with 16 points in two exhibition games. He has missed all eight of his 3-point attempts. (Remember another Warriors rookie known for shooting who struggled with his shot in preseason?)
Thompson said he’s going to spend the next few days in the gym and vowed it won’t happen again.
THOMPSON: “I’m not going to lose confidence. That’s the worst thing you can do as a shooter. That was tough. It’s going to linger around for a couple days. … I’m just happy Coach Jax has that confidence in me to call the play for me like that. I just feel bad for my teammates that I had a performance like that.”
Jackson gets kudos for giving his first-round pick that experience and vote of confidence. The last thing he said he wants is for Klay to get trigger shy, which he appeared to be Tuesday.
“You’ve got to realize he’s a great shooter,” Jackson said. “You’re going to have nights you can’t make shots. He’s fortunate enough to have a coach that believes in him, that’s not going to tell him to stop shooting.
JACKSON: “I want him to disregard the last possession and continue to shoot with confidence. And I thought a couple of times he put his head down and was upset with himself. And you can’t have that.”
The Warriors announced they,ve waived two more players: forward Edwin Ubiles and guard Tommy Mitchell.
Golden State now has 14 players under contract.
Guards: Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Charles Jenkins, Brandan Rush, Ish Smith
Forwards: David Lee, Dorell Wright, Ekpe Udoh, Dominic McGuire, Jeremy Tyler, Chris Wright
A few things you can glean from this:
1. Wright might have earned himself a roster spot. The rookie 6-foot-8 power forward out of Dayton has impressed the Warriors. He is physical, strong, can jump and hungry.
WRIGHT: “That’s my game.”
He had six points and three rebounds in 11 minutes on Tuesday night against the Kings.
2. The Warriors are going into the season leaving a spot open. They can carry a maximum of 15 but have already paired the roster down to 14.
Having an extra spot gives them the flexibility to take back more players than they send in a trade.