The path to the Western Conference semifinal was laid out before the Golden State Warriors amid Friday’s Game 6 bout with the Sacramento Kings. All they had to do was the one thing they had consistently done throughout the 2022-23 campaign — win on their home floor.
Instead, they logged the worst effort of their first-round matchup with Sacto to date, losing 118-99 at Chase Center. As a result, they’ll have to win a Game 7 in enemy territory on Sunday in order to advance.
It was a particularly challenging affair for Jordan Poole, who has already had a less-than-stellar playoffs. Over 26 minutes as Steph Curry‘s starting backcourt mate, the 23-year-old scored just seven points on 2-of-11 shooting. After the game, Dubs coach Steve Kerr noted that Poole’s night started rough and went downhill from there.
“Jordan never really going tonight, unfortunately. He got a little frustrated early — he had a couple plays where he didn’t get calls — and he was trying to attack but couldn’t couldn’t quite shake free. So, just a frustrating night for him.”
Kerr wasn’t about to lay the blame for what transpired at Poole’s feet alone, however.
Jordan Poole’s Struggles Represented Only a Fraction of the Issues Encountered During the Warriors’ Botched Closeout Attempt
While speaking out on Poole’s rough go, Coach Kerr made a point to distribute equal credit for Golden State’s lackluster performance, throwing himself under the bus in the process.
“It was a poor night for all of us, including me,” Kerr said. “We always say, ‘We win together, we lose together,’ and this was a team effort. That includes players and coaches. And the Kings outplayed us, outcoached us and deserved to win.”
He’s not wrong. The Dubs had an exceedingly poor shooting night, connecting on just 37.2% of their field-goal attempts overall and 31.3% of their tries from distance. And turnovers — which have been an issue at times throughout the series — were again a bugbear (Golden State racked up 18 on the night).
The Warriors’ defense was also brutalized by Malik Monk, who had a team-high 28 points on 8-of-14 shooting off the bench. And despite the fact that foul trouble limited Domantas Sabonis to 23 minutes of action, the Dubs were minus-11 on the glass.
Speaking of Sabonis, the Warriors also struggled mightily against the big man’s understudy, Trey Lyles, who allowed Sacramento to run tempo and space the floor. Lyles finished with a respectable 12 points on the night and further served to open up opportunities for his teammates, including Monk.
And neither Kerr, nor his players had any good ideas about mitigating his impact.
Poole Got Lit Up on Twitter, Though
Kerr may not have been keen to slag Poole, who has been dealing with ankle issues throughout the series but NBA Twitter was more than willing to do it for him.
“Jordan Poole’s shot selection falls somewhere between poor and out of control,” tweeted longtime league insider Frank Isola.
“Malik Monk is everything the Warriors need Jordan Poole to be right now. Monk is actually scoring, and also playing attentive defense and making timely passes for the Kings,” added The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.
“Jordan Poole hoop like Steve Kerr spin him around in a circle 3 times before he [went] on the floor,” joked a fan about Poole’s performance.