NBC Sports

What we learned from Warriors' preseason win over Lakers

NBC Sports

SAN FRANCISCO -- Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole combined for 58 points Friday night to lift the Warriors to a 121-114 preseason win over the Lakers at Chase Center.

Curry poured in 30 points and Poole 28 as the Warriors launched 20 3-pointers while improving to 3-0 in the preseason.

The Warriors led by as much as 22 and were up 91-77 after three quarters, but Los Angeles turned to its veteran reserves in the fourth quarter to make a game of it.

The Warriors were vastly superior when both teams went small but encountered difficulties when the Lakers -- favorites to reach the NBA Finals -- leaned on their big men.

Here are three takeaways from the first of two preseason meetings between the California rivals:

Backcourt vibe: Very warm

Though Warriors coach Steve Kerr has not officially announced that Poole will open the season as the starting shooting guard, count on it.

Through three preseason games, it’s only rational to assume that, in the absence of Klay Thompson, it will be Poole joining Curry in the starting lineup when the season opens against the Lakers on Oct. 19 in LA.

Curry’s 30 points came on 12-of-24 shooting, including 3-of-13 from distance. He was more aggressive with his shot than in the first two games and it paid off.

Poole’s 28 points came on 10-of-19 shooting, 6-of-13 from deep. He’s 14-of-32 (43.8 percent) from deep in the preseason, numbers Klay or anyone else would proudly accept.

 

Off Poole’s breakout last season and his showing thus far, it’s starting to look as if a Curry-Poole backcourt is capable of scoring at a clip similar that normally posted by the Curry-Thompson backcourt.

The muscle deficit

The Warriors were smallish last season, and sometimes their opponents exploited the physical advantage. Much of the paint activity in this game indicated it won’t be much different this season.

The Lakers, with DeAndre Jordan (6-foot-11, 265 pounds) and Dwight Howard (6-foot-9, 260 pounds), have a verticality the Warriors simply do not. Though both LA big men are several years past their prime, their sheer size and what remains of their athleticism afforded them more than a few turn-back-the-clock moments.

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The Lakers piled up second-chance points, largely because it pulled 12 offensive rebounds, with Jordan and Howard accounting for seven. They combined for 32 points and 20 rebounds, as well as six dunks off lobs.

Not every opponent will have such formidable figures in the middle, but the Warriors are built to suffer the consequences on the occasions when they do.

The Moses Moody file

With one lottery pick, Jonathan Kuminga, unavailable with a right knee sprain, the other lottery pick, Moses Moody, provided some encouraging moments.

Once again sitting through the first three quarters, Moody entered in the fourth and made his presence felt, draining three triples to help the Warriors hold off the Lakers.

The 19-year-old wing totaled 10 points, shooting 3-4 from the field and making all three of his 3-point shots. For good measure, he drew an offensive foul in the final minute to kill any LA chance of pulling out a win.

Moody was the lone Warrior, aside from Curry and Poole, to score in double digits. 

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