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Coach Steve Kerr quickly faces a playoff conundrum: begin Stephen Curry once again for Video game 2 of the playoffs for Golden Condition and transfer Jordan Poole back again to the bench or adhere with what worked so very well in the opener and be extra careful with Curry.
‘Yeah, we’ll cross that bridge when we arrive to it,” Kerr mentioned, smiling.
Poole shined in his playoff debut with 30 points, staying in the starting off lineup as Curry returned from a foot personal injury, and the Warriors smothered Nikola Jokic to defeat the Denver Nuggets 123-107 on Saturday night in Sport 1 of the initial-round collection.
For now, Curry guaranteed had a blast watching Poole and Splash Brother Klay Thompson do their issue from the opening tip.
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“I have no expectations on what’s upcoming for the reason that we’re generally striving to figure this out since this is sort of a difficult situation to deal with in conditions of the rapid ramp up that I’ve experienced and this is a playoff-type intensity and ambiance,” Curry claimed.
Balanced at final, Thompson returned to the playoff stage for the very first time in virtually three years pursuing two really serious accidents and scored 19 points with 5 3-tips.
“Jordan Poole, wow, what a playoff debut,” Thompson stated. “… He’s just outstanding. What a star in the generating.”
The perimeter blend of Curry, Poole and Thompson proved as well a great deal for the Nuggets — with Poole acknowledging “it is very lethal.”
Jokic had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Denver, experiencing stifling defense in the paint from Draymond Eco-friendly and Kevon Looney even though shooting 12 for 25.
Jokic credited equally of them for earning his photographs rough.
“They have the instruments. I think I missed a pair of simple ones, but I think that they ended up defending me really properly,” Jokic explained. “So I need to be improved. I just have to have to at the very least make the layups and uncomplicated pictures.”
Sport 2 in the most effective-of-7 series is Monday night at Chase Middle — which hosted its initially playoff game considering that opening in tumble 2019. Supporters obtained black T-shirts looking through “Gold Blooded.”
Curry arrived off the bench to add 16 details in 21 minutes right after missing particularly a month with a sprained ligament in his still left foot. The two-time MVP examined it in a scrimmage Thursday, came off the bench and experienced a minutes restriction. He checked in at the 5:58 mark of the to start with quarter to a rousing ovation.
Curry missed his first 5 photographs in advance of a layup that went in on a goaltending call in opposition to Aaron Gordon 1:14 just before halftime, then knocked down a 3 from the leading of the arc as the Warriors took a 58-47 guide at the split.
Golden State won its last 5 games to conclude the frequent period and kept rolling.
“Give them credit history. This is a incredibly proficient group with huge playoff experience. I believe the important stretch was the finish of the second quarter,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone reported. “You do not want to perform from behind in this constructing against this group.”
Jokic averaged 28 details, 15.8 rebounds and 8.8 helps in the 4 matchups with the Warriors, 3 won by the Nuggets but only a single by double digits. But Green hadn’t faced Denver this time, so his addition was substantial.
“You truly feel it. He stepped it up a notch,” Poole mentioned of Green. “Currently being our leader, we feed off his vitality.”
Inexperienced strike a 3 from the prime more than Jokic with 1:47 remaining in the 3rd, then the Nuggets star fully commited a turnover times later on as Gary Payton II capitalized with a basket that put Golden State up 89-68.
Eco-friendly wound up with 12 factors, nine assists, six rebounds and 3 blocked pictures for a Warriors team that shed very last calendar year in the enjoy-in round to Memphis and is again in the playoffs for the initially time considering that dropping the 2019 NBA Finals in six game titles to Toronto.
That was Thompson’s final playoff video game, when he suffered a torn ACL in his still left knee that required surgical treatment right before he tore his right Achilles tendon in November 2020 and experienced that fixed — costing him much more than 2 1/2 yrs till he came again in January.
Gordon and Thompson have been hit with double technicals at the 6:25 mark of the second.
“We simply cannot defeat ourselves and the Warriors in the identical game,” Malone claimed, “and we did that tonight.”
Poole warmed up in a T-shirt looking through “Poole Occasion” then dazzled on the significant postseason stage, shooting 9 for 13 with five 3s even though setting up in Curry’s place. He joined Wilt Chamberlain and Mitch Richmond as the only players in franchise background with 30 details in a postseason debut.
“He’s demonstrated he’s completely ready for quite a lot any instant,” Curry stated.
With 2:54 ahead of halftime, Poole slash just one way then the other via the crucial for a layup and got fouled by Will Barton and converted the 3-level participate in. Poole hollered in celebration as Curry stared him down in delight.
“There is no far better feeling than getting the guys behind you who have presently been as a result of the combat,” Poole stated.
He created his initial six photographs and had 17 points by intermission.
Nuggets: DeMarcus Cousins was ejected with 10:28 left right after again-to-back again technicals. He had seven factors and two rebounds against his previous staff. … Denver shot 11 for 35 from deep, Jokic missing his four 3-stage attempts.
Warriors: Looney, who played all 82 regular-season video games, grabbed seven boards as the Warriors led on rebounds 41-35. … The Warriors went 6-6 down the stretch devoid of Curry, winning their final five typical-year game titles.