Jordan Poole may have scored more points in six separate games this season, but given the importance of Friday’s matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers, 33 points was arguably a season-best performance for the Golden State Warriors’ youngster.
With his side down 11 points early in the final period and without an answer for MVP favorite Joel Embiid, the fourth-year guard exploded to provide the Warriors with a third-straight win. It was a solid if not spectacular game for Poole heading to the final 12 minutes, before his 19 fourth-quarter points powered Golden State to victory.
The Golden State Warriors outscored the Philadelphia 76ers 41-24 in the final period to claim another crucial 120-112 victory on Friday night.
Poole had 14 points in a five minute period to stir a Warrior comeback, but he wasn’t alone as his backcourt teammates aided in the fourth-quarter surge. Both Poole and Stephen Curry played the entirety of the final 12 minutes, with the two-time MVP adding eight points in the final 3:22 to ensure another important win. Before that Klay Thompson had made two big threes as part of seven points in the fourth, meaning the three guards combined for 34 points in the final period on 11-for-17 shooting from the field.
The game had threatened to belong to Embiid all night, continuing to prove unguardable with 15 fourth-quarter points to finish with 46 in another astounding performance. Yet Poole and the Warriors snatched the game from him in the final minutes, and nothing symbolized that more than the dagger in the final 90 seconds.
With the Warriors up two, Embiid finally missed on a fadeaway jumpshot that could have tied the game. After securing the rebound and going the other way, Poole was found open in the corner and he duly buried the triple. Speaking immediately after the game, the 23-year-old wasn’t done quieting his critics after the dominant display.
"“It’s definitely playoff JP but what’s crazy is that you all know that. You guys know that. So I don’t want to hear anything else — all of that extra slander that you all be talking about.”"
Poole went 10-for-19 from the field, 6-for-11 from three, 7-for-8 from the free-throw line, and recorded just one turnover in a pure showcase of what he can do as a sixth man. It comes after a solid 16-point, six-assist game against the Dallas Mavericks, an eight-assist game against the Houston Rockets, and a 21-point display against the Memphis Grizzlies across his last few games.
With a host of teams chasing the Warriors’ tail in the Western Conference, Poole’s brilliance was perfectly timed in stretching 1.5 games clear of the seventh-seed Minnesota Timberwolves and eight-seed Los Angeles Lakers. Not only that, but the Golden State win, and a loss for the Phoenix Suns, now puts the defending champions within half a game of the fourth-seed and home court advantage in the first-round of the postseason.