Warriors Come Up Clutch in Game 1 Victory
Poole Scores Playoff Career-High 31 Points and Thompson Makes Go-Ahead 3-Pointer in Final Minute
Klay Thompson knocked down a go-ahead 3-pointer with 36.6 seconds left and the Warriors came through with defensive stops when they counted most in Sunday’s 117-116 victory in Memphis.
The Grizzlies had a chance to win it on the game’s final possession, but the Dubs’ defense forced a tough left-handed look on a Ja Morant drive, and when the final buzzer sounded, it was the Warriors with a 1-0 series advantage.
|Poole - 31||Wiggins - 8||Poole - 9|
|Curry - 24||Poole - 8||Curry - 4|
|Wiggins - 17||Porter - 8||Porter - 4|
|Morant - 34||Jackson - 10||Morant - 9|
|Jackson - 33||Morant - 9||Brooks - 3|
|Melton - 14||Clarke - 9||Jones - 3|
Jordan Poole led the Dubs with 31 points off the bench, Stephen Curry scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half and Andrew Wiggins tallied 17 points in the win. Thompson struggled to hit shots, but he made the biggest shot of the game and moments later challenged Morant’s potential game-winner that went off the backboard but missed the rim.
Although the Grizzlies led by as many as 13 points in the second quarter, it came as no surprise that this game went down to the wire. Neither team led by more than four points for the final seven minutes of the game, which featured nine lead changes and 12 ties. Thompson had an eight-point fourth period after scoring just seven points through the first three quarters of the game. After his go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute, Curry blocked a Morant shot on the other end of the floor. The Warriors missed a chance to add to their one-point lead with a pair of missed free throws from Thompson on the ensuing possession, but Thompson made up for that when he and Gary Payton II defended Morant’s final shot of the game.
WEATHERING THE STORM
That the Warriors were in position to win the game at the end was due in large part to thriving in the third quarter when they had every opportunity to fold. Draymond Green was ejected late in the first half due to a flagrant-2 foul, Memphis outscored the Dubs on 3-pointers (+6) and free throws (+5), but the Warriors didn't fold. Curry scored the final seven points of a 9-0 run early in the third period, and a separate 8-0 run capped by a Poole 3-pointer helped the Warriors win the quarter 36-29. That advantage would have been larger, but Memphis big man Jaren Jackson Jr. knocked down four 3-pointers in the period, and six for the game.
POOLE THE SUPER SUB
Warriors five-man lineups have been a storyline of the postseason so far, and another chapter was added Sunday with Payton entering the starting lineup and Poole coming off the bench. The reserve role didn’t slow down Poole though, as he established new playoff career-highs in scoring (31 points) and rebounding (8), while matching his playoff career-high of nine assists. Poole scored or assisted on all of the Warriors’ points during a 12-3 spurt to open the fourth quarter that put the Dubs up by 10, their largest advantage of the game, and he also also assisted Thompson’s game-winning basket.
DUNK OF THE GAME
After playing a key role in the fourth quarter of the Warriors series-clinching win over Denver on Wednesday, Payton was part of the starting unit in Sunday’s game. And early on in the action, he delivered one of the top highlights of the game, finishing off a pick-and-roll with a thunderous slam.
Payton finished the game with eight points on 4-for-5 shooting, with each of those shots taken at or above the rim.
GAME 2 ON TUESDAY
After the Game 1 win, the series will continue on Tuesday (6:30 p.m.) with another game in Memphis. As with all Warriors road playoff games, fans are invited to Thrive City to watch the game at the official Game 2 Watch Party, presented by Chase. For event information and to RSVP, visit thrivecity.com.
More Notables ...
- With the win, the Warriors take a 1-0 lead in the Semifinals series vs. Memphis, improving to 5-1 in the 2022 NBA Playoffs (3-0 home, 2-1 road).
- The Warriors extended their NBA record streak to 25 consecutive playoff series with at least one road win … The streak began in the First Round at Denver in 2013.
- The Warriors improve to 2-0 this postseason in Game 1’s and 20-2 since the 2015 Playoffs … Overall, the Warriors are 41-32 in Game 1’s.
- The Dubs dished out 31 assists, reaching the 30-assist mark for the second time in this year’s playoffs (33 in Game 1 vs. Denver) … Golden State was 26-1 when recording at least 30 assists during the regular season.
- The Warriors grabbed a 2022 playoff-high 51 rebounds … During the regular season the Warriors were 15-3 when grabbing at least 50 rebounds.
- According to ESPN Stats & Info, this was the first game in NBA postseason history where three players at age 22 or younger each had 30 points. (Ja Morant with 34, Jaren Jackson Jr. had 33, and Jordan Poole with 31).
- Jordan Poole's '31 points were the sixth-most points scored by a Warriors reserve in a playoff game … Poole has recorded two 30-plus point games this postseason.
- According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Warriors are the first team to have multiple players record a 30-point off the bench in a single postseason (Stephen Curry, 34 points vs. Denver on 4/18, Jordan Poole today) since the Warriors did so in 1987 with Purvis Short and Terry Teagle.
- Stephen Curry scored 24 points to increase his playoff career point total to 3,132, moving into 23rd place on NBA Playoffs passing Dennis Johnson (3,116).
- Klay Thompson scored 15 points including the go-ahead three-pointer with 36.6 sec left, his second career go-ahead field goal in the final minute of his playoff career (2019 Finals Game 5 vs the Raptors).
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