SAN FRANCISCO—Jordan Poole spent a quarantine period in Boston doing jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers and anything else he could to keep his conditioning up while stuck in a hotel room.
Poole scored 32 points in his new reserve role, Andrew Wiggins added 22 points and a key driving dunk with 4:34 remaining on a quiet night for Stephen Curry, and the Golden State Warriors held off the undermanned Miami Heat 115–108 on Monday night.
“It was huge, we needed all of his 32 points, and the early foul trouble with Steph it changed our rotations,” coach Steve Kerr said. “What a luxury to be able to come off the bench with a guy who’s just started the first 35 games or whatever it was. Jordan has turned into just a critical player for us and he will remain to be critical with all the guys coming back coming off the bench.”
Heat star Jimmy Butler was helped off the court with 3:14 left in the third quarter after hurting his right ankle going down awkwardly, leaving coach Erik Spoelstra with a worried look on his face given his team’s already depleted roster. Butler had 22 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Curry had a season-low nine points. The reigning scoring champion scored his first points on a 3-pointer at the 7:45 mark of the second quarter and quickly had seven points. He wound up 3 for 17–1 of 10 on 3s—and contributed 10 assists. Wiggins made his initial three field goals and scored 12 of his points in the first quarter.
Kyle Lowry had 16 points and 11 assists for the Heat playing in foul trouble, whistled for his fifth personal with 43.2 seconds remaining in the third. Tyler Herro scored 18 points for a Miami team down 10 players in all, five because of the COVID-19 protocols.
Draymond Green dished out 13 assists returning from a two-game absence in the league health and safety protocols while Poole came off the bench in his second game back from being sidelined for six games in the protocols.
“That’s the one thing about him, he loves the competition, he loves the game of basketball, and he’s always ready,” said Wiggins, who will now challenge the third-year guard to use his athleticism and get a couple of blocked shots.
Curry picked up his second foul at the 9:18 mark of the first and took a seat with Poole entering and immediately knocking down a 3.
Gary Payton II started and scored in double figures in a career-best seventh straight game with 14 points. He also had four of the Warriors’ 11 steals.
P.J. Tucker was still listed as questionable before going through his warmups then deemed available after being in the health and safety protocols. He came off the bench after missing the previous six games.
Heat: Miami lost its second straight road game. The Heat dropped to 13–21 all-time playing on Golden State’s home floor. They will host the Warriors for the second matchup of the season March 23.
Warriors: Golden State had 39 or more assists in consecutive games, the first team to do so since Indiana in April 1994. “Draymond makes it easier. We had a lot of assists and he probably had half of them,” Wiggins said. Second-year center James Wiseman, recovering from right knee surgery, was cleared from the health and safety protocols and Kerr hopes he will begin practicing with contact next week. The big man participated in the morning shootaround and won’t travel “and we’ll continue to ramp up his activity,” Kerr said.
Klay Thompson dazzled through an extensive, impressive warmup shooting routine alongside Splash Brother Curry as fans went bonkers and he raised his arms in triumph to oblige their cheers. Green could only grin as Thompson made his way off the court.
Thompson is scheduled to go on the upcoming two-game road trip and could make his return Sunday at home against Cleveland after more than two years sidelined by a torn ACL in his left knee that required surgery then an operation to repair a torn right Achilles tendon.
“It’s possible,” Kerr said.
Spoelstra called it a “blessing” to coach Andre Iguodala for two seasons before the veteran swingman and 2015 NBA Finals MVP For Golden State returned to the Warriors this year at age 37.
“This the perfect scenario for him to end up back here and because of his IQ, and understanding of the game, and experience he literally could do this for five more years,” Spoelstra said.
Heat: At Portland on Wednesday night.
“We feel optimistic that we’ll be returning some of our guys on this road trip,” Spoelstra said. “We just keep on forging ahead, like I said our guys have been out we’ve had some amazing nights.”
Warriors: At Dallas on Wednesday night looking to snap a two-game skid to the Mavericks.
By Janie McCauley