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Warriors’ Klay Thompson admits frustration after being benched late vs. Nets: ‘It’s hard for anybody’

As the Warriors search for answers to turn their season around, a reduced role for Klay Thompson appears to be in the cards.

While Thompson has kept his spot in Golden State’s starting lineup, head coach Steve Kerr has opted to close games with Thompson on the bench, instead employing lineups featuring more of the team’s younger talent. Such was the case in Brooklyn on Tuesday when the Warriors surrounded Stephen Curry and Draymond Green with young players in a narrow win over the Nets.

Thompson, who will turn 34 later in the week, finished Golden State’s win with eight points (on 4-of-9 shooting) in 30 minutes. And while he maintains a team-first attitude, Thompson admitted that the direction of the season is taking a mental toll on him.

“I feel great, physically,” Thompson said after the game. “Mentally, probably a little different story, but such is life, you know?”

MORE: Can Golden State turn season around at the trade deadline?

Thompson added that shooting woes haven’t made things easier, saying that he takes pride in his shooting ability having an impact on the game. When asked about his recently reduced role in late-game situations, Thompson remained transparent.

“It’s all good — these guys played great,” Thompson said, crediting Jonathan Kuminga and rookies Gui Santos and Brandin Podziemski. “At the end of the day, winning trumps all.”

Tuesday night in Brooklyn marked the second time in three games that Thompson was not a part of Golden State’s late-game lineups. As a five-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA performer, Thompson admitted that it’s been a difficult adjustment.

“Yeah [it’s an adjustment], you kidding me? To go from (being) one of the best players — it’s hard for anybody, I’ll be honest with you.”

Thompson was visibly emotional during his time with the media, as his admitted frustration also came with an element of dejection. This year, Thompson is shooting a career-low 37.1 percent from beyond the arc and his scoring average of 17.1 points per game is the lowest since his second NBA season.

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And though Thompson’s 3-point shooting is still above league average, he’s still struggling to impact games in the way he once did. Last season, Thompson was able to overcome struggles to get back to his ways, but this season, the issue is much more pressing.

With Thompson’s impending free agency looming and the trade deadline coming even sooner, the Warriors’ need to find answers to support Curry is more dire than it has ever been.

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