The fourth and fifth time is the charm. At least for the Warriors in what has been an up-and-down season in its first 31 games.
With their blowout 126-110 win over the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena, the Warriors snapped their 0-3 road trip and posted their first win without Steph Curry after losing their first four games. The focus turned to Jordan Poole with Curry out for the foreseeable future, and Poole responded with a night of racing in Canada.
Poole posted his first career 40-point game, finishing with 43 as he continues to hit his stride in December. Through nine games, Poole is now averaging 26.7 points in 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, recording back-to-back double-doubles for the first time in his career.
The Warriors are now 15-16 on the season and 3-14 on the road. This one was necessary, and Poole showed why the Warriors handed him such a big check in the offseason.
Here are three takeaways from a dominating Warriors victory.
Pool party, huh?
Two nights ago, in the Warriors’ road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Poole scored 21 of his 29 points in the second half at the Wells Fargo Center. Whatever powers he tapped into during those last two quarters followed him across the border to Toronto.
Poole has focused on being more consistent, efficient and playing at a better pace. Check, check and check. That’s exactly what Poole did to shred the Raptors’ defense, using speed but maintaining control, as well as keeping pace from long range. The numbers don’t lie.
Overall, Poole played 35 minutes and scored a career-high 43 points and was 14-of-23 from the field, 5-of-11 on 3-pointers and 10-of-11 from free throws. As he set a new career high with 39 points, Poole was 13 of 18 from the field, 5 of 8 from long range and had made eight of his nine free throw attempts.
At halftime, Poole was already up by 25 points, shooting 8 of 12 from the field and 3 of 6 on 3-pointers. After three quarters, Poole’s point total increased to 34, and his first shot of the fourth quarter tied his record for points from the previous season.
Poole was not rushed once. The game came to him and rewarded him for playing the game the right way. He played point guard to perfection and showed why he’s a five-level shooter.
Draymond for three… Bang!
Green, who arrived on Sunday night, had a combined three total points in his previous two games. He tied that mark with his first shot attempt in Toronto. The three-pointers kept coming in the first quarter.
In the first three minutes of the game, Green made a perfect 3-of-3 from deep, giving him his first game of three or more 3-pointers since the 2020-21 season when he did so on May 8, 2021 against the Thunder of oklahoma city. All season, he had only made three 3-pointers in the first quarter.
His 13 points in the first quarter were the season high for any quarter, falling just five points off his career-high for points in a quarter.
While he also grabbed nine rebounds and dished out five assists, Draymond’s 17 points were huge for the Warriors. He set the tone and Poole followed his example.
When the Warriors came to Toronto, Thompson wanted to remember the good old days. His Instagram Story was filled with photos 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 he should have plenty of reasons to smile about this one.
Although he started off slow, Thompson ended up chipping in with 17 points. What he stood out the most was that he was more than a scorer.
Thompson was 6 of 14 from the field and 3 of 9 from beyond the arc. Those are not numbers he will settle for. However, he also added a season-high seven rebounds and four assists.
To say the least, Klay needed a make-up game. He did that, and he didn’t let his misses take him out of his game. It was a selfless night for the Splash Brothers, as the Warriors shared the love.