3 things to know: Jordan Poole shines with opportunity in short-handed Warriors loss to Suns, 120-98

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Tommy Call III
·3 min read
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Featuring a depleted rotation that included the absence of three starters, the Golden State Warriors were slated for an uphill battle against the red-hot Phoenix Suns.

With Steph Curry and Draymond Green getting rest days and Kelly Oubre Jr. dealing with a sprained wrist, the Warriors turned to a youth movement against Chris Paul, Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns.

While Steve Kerr’s young squad battled to stay in the game, a short-handed attack from the Warriors wasn’t enough to keep up with the Suns’ deep rotation. With Cameron Payne leading the way with 17 points on Friday, five other members of the Suns scored in double-figures to hand the Warriors their first three-game losing streak or the season 120-98.

Riding a three-game losing streak, the Warriors will have six days off before starting the second half of the season against the Los Angeles Clippers on March 11 at Staples Center.

Jordan Poole

Coming off an impressive stretch in the G League’s Orlando Bubble, Jordan Poole picked up right where left off in his return to an NBA lineup. The 2019 first-round pick tallied a game-high 26 picks on 10-of-16 shooting from the field with three boards, an assist, steal and block in 26 minutes off the bench. Poole channeled his best Splash Brothers effort, hitting a season-high five triples on 10 attempts from beyond the arc.

Via @warriors on Twitter:

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After dropping 26 points against the Suns and averaging 22.4 points on 45.1% shooting from the field with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Poole should be earning more playing time in Golden State’s backcourt behind Steph Curry and Kelly Oubre Jr.

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Nico Mannion

With Steph Curry getting a day off before All-Star weekend, Nico Mannion registered his first start in the NBA. The 2020 second-round pick recorded nine points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field with six assists, four rebounds and a steal in 31 minutes for the Warriors.

All nine of Mannion’s points against the Suns came from long distance, drilling a trio of 3-pointers on five attempts from outside.

Similar to Jordan Poole, Mannion could challenge for more minutes in Steve Kerr’s rotation after pairing a solid performance against the Suns with a strong effort in the G League bubble.

Highlight of the night

In his first start with the Golden State Warriors, Nico Mannion added a highlight-reel sequence to his rookie resume. With the game still close in the first quarter, the Arizona product found fellow rookie James Wiseman at the rim with a crafty lob in the lane.

On the next possession, Mannion stole the pass in the backcourt, to give the Warriors another opportunity to score. Mannion found Juan Toscano-Anderson charging towards the basket for an easy layup.

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