SAN FRANCISCO – The losing streak is dead, and the Warriors can thank their rookies for playing a significant role in its demise.
With Jordan Poole and Eric Paschall submitting strong performances, and D’Angelo Russell applying the finishing touch, the Warriors (10-34) buried their season-longest 10-game losing streak Saturday night with a 109-95 win over the Orlando Magic (20-23) at sold-out Chase Center.
The Warriors overcame an awful start, and then held off a late rally, to win for the first time in 2020.
Here are three takeaways from a game in which the Warriors exhibited a nice recovery from a difficult overtime loss to Denver on Thursday.
The kid was collecting buckets
For the fourth game in a row, Poole looked like the player the Warriors described last June when they made him their first-round draft pick.
His knack for scoring, in this game, served as an alarm clock for his teammates. After they missed their first seven shots and fell behind 13-0, Poole came off the bench and immediately started collecting buckets.
He made four of his first five shots, scoring 11 points in less than three minutes and tightening the score to 15-13. Moreover, his success had a positive effect on the rest of the Warriors, who responded by making their own contributions.
Though Poole totaled a season- and career-high 21 points on 8-of-19 shooting from the field, including 4-of-10 from deep. He has averaged 15.3 points over the last four games while shooting 41.9 percent (13-of-31) beyond the arc.
The kid can score, after all, and he’s burying the abysmal percentages he posted through the first half of his rookie season.
[RELATED: Steph goes crazy for Poole's buzzer-beater]
The other rook is regaining his touch
Paschall, drafted 13 selections after Poole, had a strong first six weeks before tailing off while coping with aches in both hips, causing him to miss four games over a two-week stretch.
Well, he’s back. And making only his second start in five weeks, he delivered on this night the kind of performance the Warriors needed.
Starting at power forward in place of Draymond Green (sprained left index finger), Paschall played 35 minutes, delivering 20 points (on 8-of-14 shooting) and nine rebounds, leaving him one short of his third career double-double.
The 6-6 forward has scored in double figures in five consecutive games, averaging 14.8 points during that span.
The Rookie of the Year chatter that existed back in November is gone, but Paschall is back to performing at the level that generated the talk in the first place.
D-Lo presses his distributor button
D’Angelo Russell is a scorer first and foremost, and that’s the role he has to play on this team during this season. On this night, however, however, he spent considerable time utilizing his traditional point-guard tools.
Russell still got his points, going for a team-high 26 on 9-of-21 shooting – including a dagger 3-pointer that gave the Warriors a 104-93 lead with 1:12 remaining – but he also recorded a season-high 12 assists, nearly half of the team’s total of 25, with only one turnover.
It was apparent that he was reading his teammates, particularly Poole and Paschall. They were making shots and Russell often made a point of feeding them – as well as seeking the big men for lobs.
Often derided for having a shoot-first mentality, though at times it is justifiable, Russell made sure to get his teammates involved and did so efficiently.