ANN ARBOR – The emergence of Jordan Poole has the Golden State Warriors one game away from the NBA Finals after defeating Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks 109-103 on Sunday.
With the victory, the Warriors took a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals.
Although minor (10 points), Poole’s presence was felt, especially during winning time, as he knocked down two three-pointers in the fourth quarter.
The Mavericks were on an 11-2 run down the stretch and trailing Golden State 104-99 when the future hall of fame guard Klay Thompson (19 points) drove to the paint and dished the rock to Poole for the elbow three to silence the crowd.
After the shot, Poole taunted the fans with his Notorious B.I.G Long Kiss Goodnight impersonation as he hustled back on defense.
Teams that take a 3-0 series lead are 146-0 in these series. If the Warriors can seal the deal and advance, it will be their sixth trip to the finals in eight years.
It all depends on the head of the snake, as Steph Curry continues to carry the dubs. He dropped 31 points in the victory.
Curry has scored 30 or more points seven times this postseason, joining the G.O.A.T Michael Jordan and Lebron James at age 34 or older. Jordan and James also went on to win finals MVP in the season in which those numbers were performed.
Curry spoke to the media after the game about his performance.
“Y’all know I bear everything,” Curry said. “But that’s not the motivation, though. The motivation is the fact that we’re back on this stage with the opportunity to chase a finals appearance again. After a two-year hiatus and being back with our core but with a new cast of characters gives us an opportunity to do something special.”
The new cast of characters, like Poole and Andrew Wiggins, are proven to be what the doctor ordered for the Golden State Warriors.
General Manager Bob Myers has continued to build around his core of Curry, Thompson, and former Michigan State Spartans forward Draymond Green. But the team’s future, with James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody, is forming together like a good jambalaya recipe.
Poole is bridging the gap between then and now. His style and play are reminiscent of Curry’s when he arrived on the scene in 2015, and his emergence brings it all together.
The Warriors will look to sweep the Mavericks on Tuesday (May 24) in game four of the Western Conference Finals on TNT. The tip-off is at 9 p.m. at American Airlines Arena.
Will the Warriors advance, or can the Mavericks stave off elimination?