Breakout Warrior Outduels Steph Curry in Rivalry for NBA-Leading Spot

Stephen Curry Jordan Poole Warriors-Knicks

Getty Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors celebrate during a game against the New York Knicks.

Entering the Golden State Warriors‘ regular-season finale, there was significant chatter about Klay Thompson’s ability to hit a pair of statistical milestones for the season. Fans wanted to know whether he could score enough points to finish with an average of 20 per game and/or make enough threes to achieve a 40% conversion rate.

In the end, Thompson got one out of two. By dispatching the Pelicans with a 41-point bomb, the five-time All-Star closed out the campaign at 20.4 PPG.

The Splash Bro wasn’t the only Warrior to hit a milestone in Game 82, though. Breakout wing Jordan Poole actually secured a spot atop one of the NBA‘s leaderboards. Not only that — he outdueled superstar teammate Stephen Curry in the process.

By going 4-for-4 from the charity stripe in NOLA, Poole finished as the league leader in free-throw percentage.

A Razor-Thin Margin

Poole could definitely have some year-end hardware coming his way in the Association’s Most Improved Player award. Whether he takes home the trophy or not, though, he’ll forever be in the record books as the best foul shooter during the 2021-22 season.

Had he missed just one of his four attempts on Sunday, however, that wouldn’t have been the case. Poole finished the regular season at an incredible 92.5% from the line. Curry, meanwhile, was just two-tenths of a percentage point behind the 22-year-old at 92.3%.

After the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr revealed that Steph had been talking smack to the upstart hooper earlier in the day.

“Steph texted him and said, ‘You better not miss,’ something like that,” Kerr said. “We were joking with Jordan in the locker room that those were four pressure free-thows, knowing that the regular-season title was on the line. So, we’re really happy for Jordan.”

The latest Golden State Warriors news straight to your inbox! Heavy on Warriors newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Warriors!

Poole Sounds Off

During a postgame interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, Poole made it clear that he was well aware of what he had accomplished. He further noted that Curry was a big part of making it happen.

“Me and Steph talked about it at the beginning of the year and it’s one of my goals, to [shoot 90 percent]. So being able to have the best free-throw shooter in the gym with me every day, and we’re going back and forth in the games, it’s pretty awesome,” Poole said. “I’m definitely texting him.”

He later credited his mom for helping him become such a sure shot at the stripe.

“Ever since I was young, she told me there wasn’t nobody guarding me on the free-throw line, so I shouldn’t be missing too many,” Poole said. “Shout out to mom on that; that one was for you.”

Poole and the Warriors will begin their first-round playoff series against the Nuggets on Saturday, April 16 at Chase Center; tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 pm PST.


Read More