Draymond, Kerr laud JP's best game ever in Warriors' win


For the second time this season, the Warriors are asking everyone else to pick up the slack with Steph Curry out for an extended period of time.

Klay Thompson did his part in the Warriors' 141-114 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night at Chase Center, pouring in a season-high 12 3-pointers and finishing with a game-high 42 points.

But the victory was just as much about Jordan Poole as it was about Thompson.

Poole, who has been yo-yoing between the starting lineup and a Sixth Man role, has the biggest spotlight on him with Curry missing several weeks, and in his first showcase, he left his coach and teammates in awe.

In just over 29 minutes of action, the 23-year-old guard had 21 points and dished out a career-high 12 assists while only committing four turnovers.

"I thought that was the best game I've ever seen him play," Draymond Green told reporters. "He ended up with four turnovers, three of them was him understanding what was going on in the game and trying to get Klay shots at the end of the game. So realistically, he had one turnover and what, 13 assists or something like that? I thought he played a great game on both sides of the ball. He was good defensively. Their whole offense is running guards and guard-guard screens and then waiting on a slip-up and then driving that gap. And he was incredible on that side of the ball.


"And he was incredible, obviously, offensively. He let the game come to him. He got everyone involved and then he looked for his shot. And everything was beautiful. I thought that was an incredible game. One of the best games, if not the best game I've ever seen him play."

Poole was a game-high plus-28 and the frustrating turnovers that have plagued him this season weren't there against the Thunder. He played a smart, under-control game, which is what the Warriors need without the reigning NBA Finals MVP in the lineup.

Known as a scorer, Poole's performance Monday night was just the third double-double of his NBA career, which likely explains why everyone associated with the Warriors was so impressed by what they saw.

"I thought Jordan was magnificent," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters. "One of the best games I've ever seen him play. He just was so under control. I think first half, he controlled the half without really scoring much at all. Klay was dominating obviously with his shot but Jordan was controlling the game, just running the show and taking care of the ball. And then, of course, he started scoring in the second half when that presented itself. But he was brilliant all night."

Thompson will get the headlines for this win as the one healthy Splash Brother scored 18 first-quarter points and had 27 by halftime en route to his monster game.

But even Thompson knows Poole is going to have to step up his level of play if the Warriors are going to weather the next few weeks until Curry returns.

Poole at times can drive his teammates and fans crazy with his turnovers, over-dribbling and propensity for falling down. But it's easy to forget that he's still just in his fourth NBA season and his development to this point has been impressive, considering he needed an extended G League stint two years ago.

"It was awesome," Thompson told reporters of Poole. "Career high in assists. I was a recipient of a lot of those. JP is an incredible ball-handler, incredible scorer and he's developing into a future All-Star and he played with great poise and patience tonight. Incredible talent that we're so lucky to have with the team."

After the game, Poole was a man of few words, not wanting to put the attention on himself. When asked directly about the comments by Kerr and Green, Poole spoke only about the efficiency of the team as a whole: The Warriors had 43 assists on 56 made field goals and made 26 of 50 3-point attempts.

But on this night, the first without Curry, Poole let the game come to him and filled the gaps, giving the Warriors exactly what was required.

"Being able to score the ball, being able to play-make, being able to get my team involved, also sort of being aggressive and being able to create my own shot," Poole told reporters. "Got to take what the defense gives you. With Steph out there, a lot of guys will help a little more towards him, giving me opportunity to attack one-on-one, run through close-outs, etc. But when he's out, the defense is loaded up a little more, a little bit heavy pressure. So just trying to make the right read and just play off the defense."

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Thompson is no stranger to stepping up when the Warriors need it -- He will deliver over the next few weeks.

It's on Poole to continue this level of play, and if he can, Golden State will be able to tread water and stay in the NBA playoff race until their leader returns.

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