The Golden State Warriors had enough experience to know that a fired-up Denver Nuggets team would be energized in front of their home crowd for Game 3 on Thursday night. Instead of being frustrated with their own play, the Nuggets cleaned up most of the issues they faced in the blowouts of the first two games.
The one issue that remains is the Golden State backcourt. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole are still hot, and each was on fire in Game 3.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 22, 2022
Curry and Poole each finished with 27 points apiece, and Thompson dropped 26 points on his own to cancel out a monster 37-point, 18 rebound game by Nikola Jokic to beat the Nuggets 118-113. The Warriors now lead 3-0 in their first-round series with a chance to sweep over the weekend.
The three guards have led a small ball lineup that has been the difference in this series. Each player has had their chance to shine individually and collectively throughout this series. In Game 1, Jordan Poole got rolling with a historic start. Then it was Curry who exploded in Game 2 to eclipse the playoff career 3,000 point mark while scoring a game-high 34 points in only 23 minutes.
In Game 3, all three made history. Thompson passed Ray Allen for third all-time in playoff three-pointers made. Chef Curry passed James Worthy for 26th on the playoff scoring list. As for Jordan Poole, he became the first guard since the merger to score 25 Pts on 60 percent shooting in three straight playoff games. Jerry West, Lou Hudson, and Brian Winters were the only guards to have done it in history, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
Collectively they made history as well.
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole are the 3rd trio in Warriors history to each record 25 points and 50% shooting in a playoff game and the first since 1989.
1989: Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond & Terry Teagle
1958: Neil Johnston, Paul Arizin & Tom Gola pic.twitter.com/wJbmus6noh
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 22, 2022
All three became the first trio in franchise history to record 25 points on 50 percent shooting and the first to do since Chris Mullin, Mitch Redmond, and Terry Teagle did so in 1989.
“He looks like a seasoned vet,” Thompson said about Poole via Yahoo Sports. “The shots he’s been making and taking, he’s kind of been our catalyst on offense. JP, I’ve seen him put in so much work behind the scenes that he deserves this.
“I’m incredibly proud of him.”
Not only is Thompson enjoying his teammate’s play but the opportunity to be back on the floor with his teammates in general.
“So much,” he said when asked how much he missed playoff games on the road. “It’s what you dream of, it’s what you prepare for and I don’t take granted nights like these. That was a ton of fun and just a gutsy win by our squad.
“Everything I worked for the past two years has come to fruition. I’m just incredibly grateful to be here and having fun.”
Golden State will try to close out the series on Sunday.