After a breakout regular season, Jordan Poole made a splash in his playoff debut.
The 22-year-old joined some elite Warriors company during Golden State’s 123-107 victory over the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of its opening-round playoff series, thanks to his superb shooting.
Poole’s 30 points at Chase Center on Saturday tied him with Mitch Richmond (30 in 1989) for the second-most in a Warriors playoff debut in team history, behind only Wilt Chamberlain (35 in 1960). His five 3-pointers made during the win were also the most by any Warriors player in a playoff debut.
Poole started the game in place of Steph Curry, who came off the bench in Game 1 after missing a month of action with an injury. The third-year guard had big shoes to fill, but made the most of the moment and got the internet talking with his dominant performance.
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The playoff debut success is likely all the sweeter for Poole after his first two seasons didn’t go according to plan. Now, Poole is a frontrunner for the NBA’s Most Improved Player and has a place in the Warriors’ postseason record book -- and it was only the first game.
Poole has proven he can shine in any role, whether he’s coming off the bench or starting one of the biggest games of his young career.