The Golden State Warriors looked like the juggernaut fans expected them to be this season on Monday night, dominating the San Antonio Spurs for four quarters en route to a 132-95 win. On the heels of a frustrating loss to the Kings on Sunday night, the Dubs responded to their second back-to-back of the season with their best all-around performance.
For the first time all season, Steph Curry was not the best Warriors player in a game. While Curry was more than solid, recording 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists with just one turnover in 27 minutes of action, Jordan Poole was the star of the night.
Poole has been struggling to build off his breakout 2021-22 campaign, posting his worst shooting numbers from two, three, and the free-throw line since his rookie season. On Monday night, though, starting in place of Klay Thompson who was resting on the second half of the back-to-back, Poole was unstoppable.
Poole dropped 14 points in the first quarter, helping the Dubs jump out to a 33-26 lead. In the second quarter, when the Warriors have struggled with Curry on the bench, Poole kept his foot on the gas, and helped Golden State expand the lead.
His ability to create space off the dribble, get hot from outside, and finish at the rim is a rare combination even in the NBA. Despite all the talk of James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody’s youth, Poole is still just 23 and already showing the ability to take over games.
Poole (19) and Curry (10) were the only players on either team in double figures at the half, and the Warriors led 61-45. With the starters back on the floor to start the third quarter, Golden State pulled away for good and made sure the Spurs would have no shot at late-game heroics.
This was the Warriors that Dub Nation expected to see this season. Facing a far less talented opponent, the Dubs led 99-68 heading into the fourth quarter, allowing head coach Steve Kerr to keep any players on the roster from 30 minutes of playing time.
Poole finished with 36 points on 13-for-20 shooting from the field and had a game-best +33 plus/minus. Other young players Kuminga, Moody, and Anthony Lamb all took advantage of their playing time as well. Kuminga went 3-for-4 from three and finished with 15 points. Moody added 11 points and 4 assists. Lamb finished second on the team in scoring (17 points) and plus/minus (+26).
While Poole was the star of the game, the Warriors made 51.1% of their attempts from three-point range on the night. Hopefully the team turned a corner on Monday night and is ready to get back on track, but it’s hard to read too much into this game given the weak opponent and impressive outside shooting. The Warriors will look to prove that this was not a fluke on Wednesday when they play the Suns in Phoenix. Opening tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM Pacific.