The Golden State Warriors are going to rely heavily on Jordan Poole and Otto Porter Jr. this season, especially as they await Klay Thompson’s return. And if the first two preseason games are any indication, that’s going to work out pretty well for the Dubs.
Poole had an off night from distance, as he shot just 1-for-6, but he still managed a team-high 17 points on 14 shots, with 3 assists and some solid defense as well. Porter came off the bench for a highly efficient 15 points, needing just 19 minutes and 7 shots to lead all bench players. Just as encouragingly, Porter managed to grab 9 rebounds in that time, and play his usual strong defense.
Those two led the second quarter charge as the Warriors turned a big deficit into a halftime lead. Golden State trailed by 15 in the second frame, as Denver’s offense found an early rhythm with reigning MVP Nikola Jokić splashing in 17 points and 10 rebounds in just 16 minutes.
But the rally came, with the Dubs erasing the deficit and finishing the first half on a 13-0 run to take a one-point lead into the half, with Steph Curry providing the cherry on the sundae with a gorgeous step-back three with a few seconds remaining.
From there it was mostly the reserves. Curry, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins sat for the second half, with Poole joining them after a few minutes of action.
Nemanja Bjelica again looked a perfect fit in the offense, shooting 3-for-5 from deep en route to 13 points, and seemingly always making the right pass. Jordan Bell brought tons of energy in his preseason debut, and Langston Galloway and Avery Bradley again struggled to make an impact. Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody looked more comfortable than in Monday’s game, but still nowhere near ready to contribute.
And as the dust settled, a meaningless game came down to the wire, with the Warriors trying to add to a one-possession lead on their final possession of the game. The ball movement that defined the first half went absent, but Chris Chiozza — who is on a two-way contract — drew a shooting foul, and put the game away at the charity stripe.
The Dubs improved to 2-0 in the postseason. They next play this Friday night, when they host the Los Angeles Lakers at 7:00 p.m. PT on NBA TV.