Warriors observations: Steph Curry, Jordan Poole fuel win over Wizards

What we learned as Steph, JP fuel crucial win over Wizards originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Searching for a sense of urgency was the theme of the Warriors' postgame press conference following their road loss to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. The message was heard loud and clear with Golden State turning the ball over only once in the first quarter Monday against the Washington Wizards.

There were highs and there were lows, with the final score being 127-118 in favor of the Warriors at the Capital One Arena. Before their visit to the White House and before having to play the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers on back-to-back nights, Golden State needed momentum and something to build off.

That's what they got in the nation's capital.

Steph Curry was on a mission, finishing with 41 points and hitting a handful of huge shots down the stretch. Jordan Poole joined him in the starting lineup and gave the Warriors 32 points, including a second quarter where he couldn't be stopped.

The Warriors went from turning the ball over 23 times in Chicago to only 12 times against the Wizards. A night before, the Bulls scored 30 points off turnovers. The Wizards had just 11 points off turnovers. Golden State also made 19 free throws, including 11 from Curry. In an 82-game season, Monday felt like a must-win.

Down the stretch, the Warriors showcased their composure. Now, it's time to do that consistently.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors improving to 22-22 on the season and 5-17 on the road.

Steph, Poole Provide Points

Whenever Klay Thompson sits the second day of a back-to-back, extra pressure is added to Curry and Poole. With Andrew Wiggins struggling offensively, the Warriors needed everything Curry and Poole could provide.

Curry was the one who did the scoring from the start. He put up 17 points in the first quarter, going 7-for-7 from the free-throw line. The second quarter was all about Poole.

In the second quarter alone, Poole scored 23 points while going 9-for-11 from the floor and 4-for-5 from deep. That was after a first quarter where he had only three points. Poole's 26 first-half points were the most he has scored in a half this season.

The dynamic duo got hot for stretches. In the clutch, they didn't disappoint. Overall, Curry and Poole combined to score 73 points on 24-for-48 from the field and 13-for-28 from downtown.

Curry dropped 51 points before his last White House visit, and 41 this time around. No. 30 knows how to put on a show, that's for sure.

Draymond Turns Up The Heat

Who would be the Warriors' third scorer with Thompson out? The answer came from perhaps the most versatile defender in NBA history.
Green scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. He was loud, engaged and let the Wizards feel his presence. The Warriors started off the fourth quarter slow, as they also did in the third. Trying to claw out of a hole, Green lit a fire under Golden State.

He always does so with his defense, and this time also did so from deep. Two fourth-quarter 3-pointers might have been the ultimate difference in the Warriors' win.

Flexing on the Wizards, Green finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals. He was efficient, locked in and wasn't going to let the Warriors lose.

Size Matters

To open Monday's game, 6-foot-10 Daniel Gafford used his size and length for two points over 6-foot-6 Green. The next time down the floor, Porzingis, who stands 7-foot-3, swished a 3-pointer from the top of the arc.

One night after Bulls center Nikola Vucevic did whatever he wanted against the Warriors for a career-high 43 points and 13 rebounds, Porzingis feasted on the much-smaller Warriors. He scored 25 points in the first half before Green dug deep and held him to seven in the second half.

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However, Gafford gave the Wizards 14 points and was a plus-17. The Wizards scored 46 points in the paint, and the Warriors had 36. The Warriors figured it out in the second half, though the Wizards were in control by taking advantage of a size difference.

With James Wiseman, JaMychal Green, Jonathan Kuminga and Andre Iguodala all out, the Warriors' depth has been tested. Draymond and Kevon Looney better ice up the next two days.

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