San Francisco Chronicle
Poole’s ‘electric’ fire extends hot streak
After Jordan Poole swished the first of his four 3-pointers in the third quarter Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers at Chase Center, the Golden State Warriors’ guard held his followthrough for a moment, turned to the crowd and yelled, “I really do this!”
Poole scored 22 of his game-high 34 points in the quarter as the Warriors pulled away to win 115-91, their fourth straight victory and 26th in 33 home games. And with 19 games left, the Warriors are really starting to conjure the same second-half magic that carried them to a championship last season.
And in his second career quarter with at least 20 points, Poole made sure to let the entire arena know that he and his team were feeling it.
“We have some momentum going,” he said. “You just have to create all the energy that you can and get the crowd involved. Especially against a really good team like that, you need every competitive advantage you can get.”
Poole did it all in the third quarter: picking pockets in transition on defense, finding open teammates on offense and dissecting the Clippers from inside out.
In the final seconds of the third quarter, Donte DiVincenzo found Poole wide-open on the right wing in transition, but his 3-pointer fell short and the ball strayed into the right corner. The 23-year-old chased down his miss and saved the ball in-bounds to Jonathan Kuminga with an assist from Bay Area rapper E-40, who kept him from losing his balance.
The ball ended up back in DiVincenzo’s hands, and as he drove back into the lane, Poole relocated to open space. He set his feet in the right corner. Kuminga found the open man. And this time — doing his best Stephen Curry impression — Poole looked away as his next 3-point attempt left his hands, knowing it would hit nothing but net.
And Poole continued to emanate confidence, letting his tongue hang from his jaw as he jogged back on defense.
“That was great hustle by JP,” Klay Thompson said. “That’s why he got rewarded, and it felt so great to hear Chase Center get loud and that was just an incredible momentum shifter. So, just a great overall night by Jordan. He led us tonight.”
After going 3-of-22 from deep in the first half and falling into a 11-point hole at the break, the Warriors made seven 3-pointers in the third quarter and outscored Los Angeles 42-16 to take a 15-point lead into the final frame.
It was a script similar to that from Tuesday against Portland. In that game, Golden State enjoyed a 3917 third-quarter advantage, meaning the Warriors have outscored their last two opponents in the third by a combined 81-33.
“I think it’s an energy thing,” Draymond Green said. “Your defense is fueling your offense. That fuels everyone. That fuels the team, it fuels the crowd, it’s electric.”
The Warriors are in sole possession of fifth place in the Western Conference after moving three games over .500 for the first time this season.
Golden State can complete a perfect homestand — and match its longest winning streak of the season — Friday night against New Orleans.
Thompson added 19 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for the Warriors. Green came close to a triple-double for the second straight game with 11 points, nine rebounds and nine assists and Kuminga scored 19 points off the bench.
Kawhi Leonard led four Clippers in double figures with 21 points and seven rebounds.
The Clippers shot only 36% from the field and hit only 9 of 43 3-pointers (20.9%).
“It does feel like this is our best stretch because of what we’re doing defensively,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s significant in that we’ve held our serve here so far at home. Another big one tomorrow and hopefully Steph is coming back soon. So I think things are looking up.”