SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A star-studded, sold-out Chase Center crowd greeted the return of Warriors star Klay Thompson Sunday who rewarded them with a driving layup to score Golden State’s first basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The basket at 5:42 p.m. was Thompson’s first in 2 1/2 years after being sidelined by first an ACL injury suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals and then a torn Achilles when he was rehabilitating.

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Thompson, now sporting an old-school headband he plans to stick with as his curly hair is longer, knows it will take time to build back up to his pre-injury minutes and performance on both ends of the floor.

Teammate Draymond Green, who started Sunday but was substituted out of the game as he is still hobbled by a calf injury, has watched Thompson suffer through a range of emotions as he worked his way back.

“I know what he’s gone through,” he said. “I’ve seen it first hand. The good days, the bad days. Days where he comes in bouncing off the walls, talking to everybody non-stop, won’t shut up, and days where he doesn’t have a word to say to anyone. That’s just that roller-coaster. I can only imagine what he’s going through. I’m excited for him. He deserves it. That’s a guy who has given all he’s got to this game. He’s gotten the opportunity to be healthy and come back and that’s what we all hoped for.”

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As the minutes ticked down to Thompson’s return to the court, ticket prices soared into the stratosphere with a pair of courtside seats being offered on a popular resale site for more than $70,000.

Reuniting with ‘Splash Brother’ Steph Curry on a team already sporting one of the NBA’s best records has Warriors fans dreaming of another league title.

And his return may be coming when the team needs him the most. Curry is in the midst of his worst two-game shooting slump of his career and the Warriors are coming off back-to-back losses.

Curry started 4-for-4 from the 3-point line to start the game against the Cavs.

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“The way they are playing Steph, the way everybody is playing Steph, they are really putting their best defender on him, they are attacking him with double teams,” Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said. “It will be nice to have Klay on the floor on the weak side. He’ll probably see a lot of open shots the way teams are guarding Steph.”