Poole’s blast in the third quarter leads Dubs to the last big win originally appearing on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO – In the most Bay Area streak Chase Center could dream of, Jordan Poole launched a 3-pointer from the right wing Thursday night with just over 30 seconds left in the third quarter, jumping three times as he headed for his shot clattered to the right corner, went into an all-out sprint to keep the game alive where he was caught by E-40 before emptying his fourth three of the night.
The trey gave the Warriors, who trailed 11 points at halftime, an 18-point lead, placing an exclamation mark on the Warriors’ 42-point third quarter tally in their emphatic 115–91 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers that Dub Nation rocking. the house in sometimes deafening tones.
“I told him that was his bucket,” Poole said. “He’s never scored an NBA bucket, so there it is.”
“That was a great buzz from JP,” Klay Thompson said of the wild moment. “That’s why he got rewarded. It felt great to hear Chase Center get rowdy and that was just an incredible shift of momentum. Just a great night from Jordan.
“He led us tonight. Just incredibly proud of him for bouncing back after not the best shooting games, but that doesn’t affect him. He’s such a great player.”
Poole scored a game-high 34 points, 9 of 20 from the field and 5 of 12 on 3-pointers in the Warriors’ win. None other than a fortune teller could have foreseen such definitive numbers from the electric guard. Not with the way Poole started the game.
In the first quarter, he missed all three of his shot attempts. A missed finger roll in the first minute of the second quarter gave Poole four consecutive misses to open the game. An offensive rebound and putback layup turned into Poole’s first made bucket of the night, kick-starting what was to be a huge night.
Trailing the Warriors by 11 points, Poole went into halftime with nine points to his name. His mentality was to get guys like Thompson, Donte DiVincenzo, Jonathan Kuminga and Draymond Green going early in the game and put them in position for easy chances. His aggressiveness showed up in the second quarter, but in nothing like the third.
Like the Splash Brothers of Klay and Steph Curry before him, the Warriors’ heir apparent exploded in the third quarter, turning San Francisco into an undisputed Poole Party. Poole played barely less than 10 minutes in the third quarter and scored 22 points in the third, five of his nine shots and four of his eight three-point attempts.
“I can’t necessarily feel it, but I know it’s always possible and that’s why he’s so important to us,” said Steve Kerr of Poole’s excitement in the third quarter. “At the point of attack, he can pass his man well and get to the paint and finish.
“If he can do that, break down the defence, that opens up a lot of things for us.”
The nine shots were great, as were Poole’s five threes – his most in nearly a month. But that’s not what stood out the most. It was his will to get to the basket, which often led to the free-throw line.
While the Warriors threw enough bricks from outside the arc for another waterfront arena in the first half, Poole put his head down and reached the rim in the third quarter. Last season’s free throw champion was a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line during his 22-point third quarter. Overall, he swung 11 of his 12 free throws, his second most free throws made this season and second most attempts.
Poole completed three layups and cleared one floater, showing he can be a three-level scorer for the Warriors.
“When he goes to the Cup and makes those difficult lays and he gets some free throws, his whole game opens up after that and it opened up our whole offense,” Thompson said.
Kerr and Poole’s teammates know that Poole can score in groups. The Warriors have beaten their opponents 81-33 in their last two games, winning both, in the third quarter. They scored 22 points more than the Portland Trail Blazers in the period on Tuesday night and had a 26-point lead for the quarter over the Clippers — the second-highest in the NBA this season.
They became the first team in the shot clock era to come back from a double-digit halftime deficit to win by more than 15 points in consecutive games. Across those two games, Poole scored 34 points in the third quarter, 8 of 15 from the field and a perfect 13 of 13 on free throws.
But it wasn’t just his scoring that led to another all-important victory for the Warriors. Poole had two steals against the Clippers, raised the bar defensively and was very active in passing lanes for multiple deflections.
“If we get steals and deflections we get into transition and I think we’re quite a dangerous team when we get out,” said Poole. “Learning slowly but surely, and just trying to get better.”
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His first shot of the fourth quarter and final of the night was a fitting shot. Poole came off a screen by Kevon Looney, gathered behind the left wing and sent him flying. The ball splashed through the net, Poole kept his shooting stance and three fingers in the air and sent a message to the fans and everyone else: “I’m doing this for real!”
On a night when the Warriors won their fourth game in a row, all without Curry and Andrew Wiggins, putting three games over .500 for the first time this season and holding only fifth place in the Western Conference standings, Poole had the right to talk his talk and supported every word.
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