Jordan Poole of the Warriors lights up the scoreboard with 30 points next to Steph Curry


PORTLAND, Oregon – After more than a week of Andrew Wiggins’ coronavirus vaccination dominating local news and becoming national history, the Warriors were finally able to focus on basketball on Monday night in a victory of exhibition 121-107 against the Trail Blazers.

The Warriors announced on Sunday that Wiggins had reversed his anti-vaccination stance, allowing him to play home games in San Francisco and bring attention back to the pitch just in time for the opener of the preseason, during which Jordan Poole took control of the starting point of the guard shot.

On a night when the Warriors’ lottery picks recorded their first minutes against seasoned NBA competition, and offseason signers Nemanja Bjelica and Otto Porter Jr. seemed perfectly suited to Golden State, the much bigger takeaway at the Moda Center was booming Poole alongside Stephen Curry.

If Poole is to replace Klay Thompson until he returns from Achilles surgery in late December or January, he must prove that he is capable of defending some of the best goalies in the league. West of Brooklyn, it’s hard to find a more vibrant backcourt than the one featured in Portland by Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

With Curry defending Lillard, Wiggins guarding McCollum and Poole following Norman Powell, the Warriors had an 18-8 lead when Poole took his first break with 6:12 remaining in the first quarter.

There is certainly no doubt about the offense or the trust. After saying to the shootaround, “It’s a regular game for me. Not even the preseason. Just one game, ”Poole scored a high 15 points in just 15 minutes at halftime.

He threw three shots from at least 26 feet in the first three minutes and closed the first quarter with a 39-foot shot.

Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins is fouled by Blazers forward Robert Covington (left) and center Jusuf Nurkic.

Craig Mitchelldyer / Associate Press

Portland didn’t face Lillard (19 points) or McCollum (12 points) in the second half, but Curry and Poole got back to work to open the third quarter. After entering the break tied 60-60, Curry and Poole put the Warriors in the lead 76-71 before Curry called it a night with 7:06 in the third quarter.

Poole scored 30 points on a 3-point 7-for-13 shot and had five rebounds, five assists, two blocked shots and one steal in 22 minutes. Curry added 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in 19 and a half minutes.

During the 11 minutes that the two were on the field together, they outscored the Trail Blazers by 15.

“Offensively, I think we know what we’re capable of. Defensively we have to show that we can hang in there, ”Curry said of his pairing with Poole. “I’m excited for him. It’s a great opportunity. He worked his ass all summer to be ready .. “

Fans had to wait awhile to get their first real look at Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody hoop, after the rookies offered plenty of intriguing moments against lesser competition in the Las Vegas Summer League. After an intense three-on-three scrum with the coaches ahead of the game, the lottery picks only came into play in the second half.

Kuminga came in with 1:44 left in the third quarter, and Moody joined in to start the fourth. Kuminga had a streak in which he outscored three Portland players for an offensive rebound, and Moody didn’t seem overwhelmed at the moment.

Bjelica had six points, both on long 3-pointers and six assists in 18-and-a-half minutes, and Porter scored 19 points on a 3-point 4-on-7 shot as the Warriors shot 69 long-range shots. .

Draymond Green, who arrived late for training camp due to an “excused personal absence”, only played 14 minutes, a minimum among the starters.

Rusty Simmons is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @Rusty_SFChron



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