Next man up: Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga and co. showcase glimpse of Warriors’ bright future
No Steph Curry. No Klay Thompson. No Draymond Green. No Andrew Wiggins. On the second night of a back-to-back on the road in San Antonio, you could excuse the Golden State Warriors for letting this one slip by, but their young players had other ideas.
Trailing by as many as 17 points, the Warriors dug themselves out of a hole and outscored the San Antonio Spurs 35-16 in the fourth quarter to seal an impressive 124-120 win, led by their impressive cast of youth.
Jordan Poole led the charge, going off for a game-high 31 points, six rebounds and five assists, including the clutch three to give them the lead with 17.9 seconds to go.
The Moody hustle. The Poole triple. The Steph celebration.
With only Kevon Looney available from their regular starters, Poole led the young Warriors to their seventh straight win as they scrapped for every loose ball, chased every rebound and outhustled the Spurs.
Moses Moody knocked down six 3-pointers on his way to 20 points, while Damion Lee added 21 and Jonathan Kuminga 19 off the bench.
Kuminga, who was earlier in the day left off the 28-man player pool for the Rising Stars Challenge, turned in one of his best performances of the season, bringing plenty of energy during their 26-10 run late in the game.
“Jonathan just kept playing,” head coach Steve Kerr said postgame. “That was the big thing, that’s a great lesson for him as a rookie. Things are up and down and they will be game to game and they sometimes are within a game and tonight was a great lesson for him.
“If you keep competing and playing hard, then the game can turn… really proud of him.”
Given the pedigree of the Warriors’ superstar players, it’s easy to focus on the right now as they look to compete for a championship this season, but as the season rolls on, we begin to get a glimpse at what the future of the Warriors could be, headlined by a talented cast of young players, who are slowly coming into their own.
With Poole (22 years old), Kuminga (19), Moody (19) and James Wiseman (20) who has yet to play this season, the Warriors are developing a strong group capable of taking the mantle from the Steph, Klay, Dray era…..and even more frighteningly, capable of extending the success of this current era.