Veteran's imperious return propels Warriors' win despite star's shooting struggles

Golden State Warriors v Philadelphia 76ers
Golden State Warriors v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Chris Paul has made an incredibly successful return to the Golden State Warriors, with the veteran point-guard immediately finding form in his team's 123-112 win over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old had missed 21-straight games due to a fractured hand, but you wouldn't have known it as Paul impacted on both ends in a game characterized by the varying production of the respective benches.

Chris Paul and Klay Thompson led a strong bench display in the Golden State Warriors' victory over the Washington Wizards

Paul finished with nine points, four rebounds, six assists and four steals in less than 22 minutes, with the Warriors winning the bench scoring battle 59-15 in the 11-point win. The 12-time All-Star connected with Klay Thompson on a number of occasions, offering a tantalizing glimpse of a new-look Golden State bench unit led by the future Hall-of-Fame duo.

Thompson backed up his 23-point performance against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday with a team-high 25 on 9-of-16 shooting from the floor and 6-of-11 from three-point range. That included a scorching period in the third-quarter as part of a 25-6 Warrior run that broke the game open.

After entering the fourth with a 23-point advantage, Golden State's final-quarter woes continued as Washington threatened to make a game of it. However, the lead never got within single figures as the Warriors claimed a comfortable win.

Paul was undoubtedly the biggest positive from the game, appearing to have no ill-effects from the fractured hand as he shot 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. He also finished as a +17 in his minutes, only behind Kevon Looney who was a +20 in just over 10 minutes of playing time.

Paul also aided in an incredibly efficient night for Jonathan Kuminga who had himself a dunk party with 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting. The third-year forward also had six rebounds and five assists, helping carry the burden left by Andrew Wiggins who was out due to personal reasons.

Thompson and Kuminga's scoring offset another poor shooting night for Stephen Curry, with the two-time MVP going scoreless in the first-half before finishing with 18 points on 6-of-21 shooting and only 4-of-16 from three-point range.

Even in spite of Curry's struggles, the Warriors shot 45.7% from beyond the arc. That included four made threes for Moses Moody who got the start in the absence of Wiggins. The 21-year-old had 12 points and made a number of notable hustle plays, again putting his name forward as a rotation option once Wiggins returns.

Golden State move to 30-27 on the season and now have a day off before preparing for a back-to-back in New York and Toronto starting on Thursday.