With Warriors center James Wiseman and forward Eric Paschall ruled out of Wednesday night’s game in Houston due to coronavirus-related contact tracing, the Dubs cruised to a victory over the Rockets despite losing Steph Curry after three quarters to an injured tailbone.
As has been customary this season, and with the franchise over the past decade, the Golden State Warriors were looking to recover from their most recent loss the best way they know how: with an ascendant win.
The Houston Rockets, who themselves entered the contest having lost 17 in a row, were also desperately seeking a win of their own.
However, the Rockets’ urgency seemed to pale in comparison to their foes’ commitment to the cause, with the Warriors hitting their first five shots from the field. After trading buckets for most of the first quarter, the Warrior lead blossomed to 24 by halftime, and the remaining two frames saw the Dubs haphazardly thwart a wanting Rockets comeback.
Draymond Green registered 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists for his third triple-double of the season as the Warriors dealt the Rockets their franchise-record 18th straight loss. The Warriors are 26-1 across Dray’s career when he records a triple-double during the regular season.
16 PTS | 12 REB | 10 AST— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 18, 2021
Draymond was playmakin' tonight in Houston 💪 pic.twitter.com/5B2XxeEVoR
"Draymond was having fun out there tonight," head coach Steve Kerr said. "He was on top of his game. I thought he controlled the whole game with his defense and his rebounding. He was really, in my book, the player of the game."
Stephen Curry was not at his sharpshooting best, finishing with 18 points on 2-11 from long range before sitting out the fourth quarter having suffered a tailbone contusion falling out of bounds.
Warriors reserve Jordan Poole, who has been averaging 18 points a game since being called up from their G-League affiliate at the beginning of March, stepped up in Curry’s absence on his way to 23 points and new career-best six made 3-pointers.
Jordan Poole in the 2nd Quarter:— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 18, 2021
💥 15 Points
💥 4-6 3PM pic.twitter.com/rUdaJ6yb5m
🗣️ AND-1— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 18, 2021
Jordan's got 15 points (& counting) in the second frame 💪 pic.twitter.com/IV55vuTcaS
Poole’s teammates were fairly hyped, albeit unsurprised, regarding his current run of form, lauding praises on the second-year guard after the game.
"He looks like a different player," teammate Andrew Wiggins said. "He's hoopin'. He's hoopin'. He's killing it."
"He is a special individual man, he's always in high spirits," Kelly Oubre Jr. added. "He continues to work and get better, and that's all you can ask for a young player like that. To see what he's doing right now is no surprise because I see him in the gym all the time."
"I don't know many people that work harder than Jordan," Green told the media in his postgame Zoom conference. "So to see him put the work in day after day and now start to reap the rewards from that, it's good to see."
It's hard to overstate what these complements extolled on the young guard could mean about his future, with a work ethic that is being compared to the world's greatest shooter of all time in Steph Curry, even if inadvertently. To see where Poole is at now, and to think about where his ceiling could be, is almost frightening.
The next two games for the 9th place Warriors could be critical, as they take on the 10th place Grizzlies in Memphis on Friday and Saturday night at 5 p.m. PT with just a game in hand and NBA playoffs looming. Despite any added consequence to this doubleheader, the squad continues to downplay the importance of any one game, while having a laugh or two along the way:
March 18, 2021
Top Image: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images