Jordan Poole grabs down the track

SAN ANTONIO — The Warriors averted disaster on Saturday when Jordan Poole came down the stretch to help Golden State beat the Spurs 100-94.

The Spurs ended the third quarter on a 10-2 run, drawing within seven points of the Warriors, who led by up to 17 points.

In the fourth quarter, the Spurs continued to scrape the Warriors’ lead and came within two points.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich successfully reversed a foul on Tres Jones, leaving his team behind at four in the fourth quarter with about 20 seconds left when officials later found Poole had slipped on his shooting arm.

Spurs fouled Poole, who grabbed his seventh and eighth free throws of the quarter before grabbing a rebound at the other end to seal the win.

“It was more them than us,” said coach Steve Kerr of Spurs’ impending comeback. “They have an identity, they’re obviously trained that well no matter who they play against, they’re connected, they stay together, they compete… They’ve had a lot of guys who played really well tonight, so more about them than us . ”

Poole, who has been the Warriors’ all-time leading scorer for the past five weeks, was scoreless in the first half and made 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. He was 3-for-19 from the field and 1-for-11 from 3-point range, but Poole found other ways to contribute, dishing out eight assists. He finished Plus-8 in about 34 minutes.

Draymond Green, arguably the Warriors’ best player on Saturday’s pitch, praised Poole after the game, saying his composure on the stretch and his ability to grind through a bad night of shooting supported the 22-year-old’s case the most improved players of the league only awarded.

“He didn’t have it at all tonight … but I thought the way he held himself in the game by incorporating other guys, that’s growth,” Green said. “If you look at where he’s from, the steps he’s taken, he’s gotten into a position that not a lot of guys would handle well and that’s essentially a Steph Curry impersonation with all due respect.”

Kerr said the grind of the 82-game season had worn Poole thin and he “didn’t feel good” on Saturday.

“He works out there and I was really proud of him,” Kerr said.

Meanwhile, Green hit his fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 13 rebounds and 12 assists. He also dished out eight assists in what Kerr felt was Green’s best physical appearance.

“I thought he was the best player on the floor,” Kerr said. “His energy, his rebound, his ball distribution, his energy was great. He just came in ready to play and that’s a great sign. He knows the playoffs are next week.”

Jonathan Kuminga furthered his case of being part of the playoff rotation, scoring 18 points off the bench in the second and fourth quarters. Jordan Poole grabs down the track

Joel McCord

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