What we learned as JP drops career-high 43 in Warriors’ win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The fourth, and fifth, time is the charm. At least for the Warriors in what has been a wildly up-and-down season through their first 31 games.
With their 126-110 blowout win over the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena, the Warriors snapped their 0-3 road trip and came away with their first victory where they didn’t have Steph Curry after dropping their first four said games. The focus has turned to Jordan Poole with Curry out for the foreseeable future, and Poole responded with a career-night in Canada.
Poole recorded his first 40-point game of his career, finishing with 43 as he continues to hit his stride in December. Through nine games, Poole now is averaging 26.7 points over nine games this month.
He wasn’t alone, too. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green each scored 17 points, JaMychal Green gave Golden State 15 points and Kevon Looney with 11 points and 11 rebounds, recorded back-to-back double-doubles for the first time in his career.
The Warriors now are 15-16 on the season, and 3-14 on the road. This was a needed one, and Poole showed why the Warriors handed him such a huge check in the offseason.
Here are three takeaways from a dominant win by the Warriors.
Poole Party, Eh?
Two nights ago in the Warriors’ road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Poole put up 21 of his 29 points in the second half at Wells Fargo Center. Whatever powers he tapped into over those last two quarters followed him across the border to Toronto.
Poole has been focused on being more consistent, efficient and playing at better pace. Check, check and check. That’s exactly what Poole did to pick apart the Raptors’ defense, using speed but staying under control, as well as getting in a rhythm from long distance. The numbers don’t lie.
Overall, Poole played 35 minutes and scored a career-high 43 points while going 14-for-23 from the field, 5-for-11 on 3-pointers and 10-for-11 on free throws. When he set a new career-high at 39 points, Poole was 13-for-18 from the field, 5-for-8 from long distance and had made eight of his nine free-throw attempts.
At halftime, Poole already was up to 25 points, going 8-for-12 from the field and 3-for-6 on 3-pointers. After three quarters, Poole’s point total grew to 34, and his first shot of the fourth quarter tied his previous season high in points.
Not once was Poole rushed. The game came to him, and rewarded him for playing the right way. He played the point guard spot perfectly, and showcased why he’s a five-level scorer.
Draymond For Three … Bang!
Green coming into Sunday night scored three total points combined over his previous two games. He tied that mark with his first shot attempt in Toronto. The threes kept coming in the first quarter.
In the first three minutes of the game, Green was a perfect 3-for-3 from deep, giving him his first game of making three or more 3-pointers since the 2020-21 season when he did so on May 8, 2021 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. All season long, he had made only three 3-pointers in the first quarter.
His 13 first-quarter points were a season-high for any quarter, and fell only five points off his career high for points in a quarter.
While he also grabbed nine rebounds and handing out five assists, Draymond 17 points were huge for the Warriors. He set the tone, and Poole followed his lead.
As the Warriors arrived in Toronto, Thompson wanted to remember the good times. His Instagram story was filled with pictures of him and Draymond at the 2016 All-Star Game, as well as his idol Kobe Bryant. Klay cherishes these moments after missing two-and-a-half seasons, and should have plenty of reasons to smile for this one.
Though he started slow, Thompson ended up providing 17 points. What stood out most was he was more than a scorer.
Thompson was 6-for-14 from the field and 3-for-9 beyond the arc. Those aren’t numbers he’ll settle for. However, he also added a season-high seven rebounds and four assists.
To say the least, Klay needed a bounce-back game. He did that, and didn’t let him missing shots put him out of his game. It was an unselfish night from the Splash Brothers, as the Warriors were all sharing the love.