SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jordan Poole scored 41 points, Klay Thompson made a key 3-pointer with 1:36 left and added 31, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 118-112 on Friday night to improve the league’s best home record to 16-2.
Damian Lillard did his best to rally the Trail Blazers after halftime and finished with 34 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Poole notched his second 40-point game in the past 15 contests. His 3 with 2:57 remaining got Golden State within 110-109 but he turned the ball over the next possession before Jonathan Kuminga's driving, two-handed slam for the lead moments later.
On consecutive defensive sequences, Draymond Green blocked a shot and grabbed a rebound.
Ty Jerome hit a half-court buzzer-beater to end the first quarter that put Golden State ahead 41-25, much to the delight of a cheering Stephen Curry as the reigning NBA Finals MVP missed his eighth straight game with a partially dislocated left shoulder. Poole has been the Warriors' top scorer in nine of the 10 total games missed by Curry so far.
The Blazers, who have lost four of five and five of seven, began the third on a 19-9 burst to go ahead 75-69. Anfernee Simons added 22 points and seven rebounds.
Lillard and Simons were a combined 8 for 26 from long range.
Portland called timeout at the 10:25 mark of the first after the Warriors jumped out to a 9-0 lead by making their first four shots — three by Thompson.
Golden State has won the last four in the series and also four in a row at home.
GP2'S RING NIGHT
Portland guard Gary Payton II, yet to play for the Trail Blazers as he recovers from surgery for a core muscle injury after signing a $28 million, three-year deal, received his championship ring from the Warriors and Green delivered it.
“It's just amazing,” Payton said during a quick stop at halftime. He greeted dozens of old friends and arena workers.
His impact for Golden State in one season was monumental — “he became a fan favorite here in a short amount of time,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said.
“I’m pretty sure it’s a validating moment to be able to first and foremost earn a championship ring,” Billups said. “He just wasn’t on the team and kind of watching from the sideline, he helped earn that ring, and he played his part. So it’s actually awesome for him, all the attention will be on him tonight.”
Golden State had cut him in the preseason then brought him back.
“We don’t win the championship without him, I know that,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
Trail Blazers: Big man Jusuf Nurkic sat out with an illness, the second game he has missed in the past five. ... The Blazers shot 12 for 39 from deep. ... Billups said Payton is “close, very close,” to making his season debut. ... Portland last won on Golden State's home floor with a 124-108 victory on March 26, 2021.
Warriors: C James Wiseman rolled his left ankle taking part in a 3-on-3 scrimmage after the morning shootaround and Kerr said “it doesn't seem too serious.” All-Star Andrew Wiggins also took part in that scrimmage as he works back from an illness that followed his stint sidelined by tightness in his right upper leg — 13 in a row missed overall. The hope is he will play Monday after one more practice day. ... F JaMychal Green is out of the league health and safety protocols but now dealing with an infection in his lower right leg.
Trail Blazers: Return home for one game to host Billups' old Pistons team Monday night.
Warriors: Host Atlanta on Monday night.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Janie Mccauley, The Associated Press