The Golden State Warriors have been something of a puzzle over the last week.
The Dubs dropped three games in a row, including two to the San Antonio Spurs and the hapless Orlando Magic, after Steph Curry sprained a ligament in his foot against the Boston Celtics on March 16. Then Wednesday against the Miami Heat, on the second night of a back-to-back, the Warriors put together a 14-point victory over the Eastern Conference’s current No. 1 seed. On top of that, Golden State did so absent Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. The latter two sat out in the interest of rest amid the Dubs’ five-game road stretch.
Curry took to Twitter Wednesday night to give props to his teammates after their impressive and unexpected victory.
“Team in blue had a night down in Miami,” Curry wrote. “You love to see it!!! #DubNation”
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Jordan Poole Explodes For 30 Points, Continues Hot Streak
The Warriors rode to victory on the back of shooting guard Jordan Poole, who dropped in 30 points on better than 50% shooting from the field (10-of-18) and the 3-point line (7-of-13). Poole added nine assists and four rebounds to his stat line, producing a +19 for Golden State during his team-high 39 minutes on the court.
Poole has been unconscious offensively since Curry went down. But, to be fair, the third-year guard’s play was reaching consistently high levels long before that. As NBA analyst for The Ringer Kevin O’Connor pointed out on Twitter Wednesday night, Poole has scored at least 20 points in his last 11 outings.
“I am loving the Jordan Poole experience. He’s averaging 28.3 points on 20.5 shots plus 5.3 assists in his last four games. And it’s 11 straight games with 20+ points,” O’Connor wrote. “Warriors are only 1-3, and still no Steph Curry, but it’s amazing to see what Poole can do when fed the ball.”
Golden State head coach Steve Kerr, who just the night before said this iteration of the Warriors “does not know how to win right now,” was highly complimentary of Poole’s play down the stretch.
“He was fantastic. … He was really, really amazing. But he’s been amazing for awhile now. He’s really come into his own,” Kerr said. “We’re gonna stay on him about the defense and boxing out. I thought he had some really good plays at that end and then some plays where he can get better, so we’re going to stay on him with that. But he’s doing an amazing job, and it’s fun to watch his success because he’s really earned it.”
Warriors Win Over Heat a Total Team Effort
Poole led the way for the Warriors Wednesday night, but he certainly did not defeat the Heat on his own. Three Dubs players posted 22 points — Jonathan Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins and Damion Lee — to complement Poole’s 30. All three shot at least 50% from the field — Kuminga and Wiggins as starters, while Lee performed in a bench role.
Center Kevon Looney also chipped in with 16 rebounds and tough interior defense, while Gary Payton II dropped in 11 points on only one missed shot in six attempts and grabbed five rebounds off the bench.
The Warriors snapped a three-game losing streak with the win in Miami Wednesday, their second contest in a five-game road stretch. Next up for Golden State are the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.