SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jordan Poole emerged as one of Golden State’s most dependable performers during the championship run last season.
He resembled that go-to guy once again Friday night when the Warriors needed everything he had, with the ever-reliable Draymond Green doing his thing, too.
“Opportunity,” Poole said of his stellar fourth quarter playing all 12 minutes.
Poole scored 33 points and swished a key 3-pointer with 1:18 to play off a pretty pass by Green, Stephen Curry added 29 points and eight rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors rallied past Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers 120-112 on Friday night.
“Tonight something about it felt like last year in that playoff run when Jordan was just attacking and knocking down shots but also getting to the line just giving us an entirely different dimension offensively,” coach Steve Kerr said. “That’s when he’s at his best. I thought he really competed down the stretch defensively as well. He was magnificent tonight.”
Embiid checked back into the game with 8:26 left and scored 13 straight on the way to 46 points, but the Warriors came back from 11 down for their ninth straight home win — and one of the most important yet as they fight for playoff positioning.
Green noted: “Nobody wants to be in that play-in, the play-in is dangerous.”
Curry dribbled the baseline and around Embiid for a go-ahead jumper with 2:20 to play. Klay Thompson tied it at 104 with 5:05 left, only for Embiid to drive straight down the key for a dunk. He did miss consecutive shots in crunch time, too.
Poole’s driving dunk with 8:27 left got Golden State back to 93-91 then Kevon Looney’s putback after Embiid blocked a layup try by Poole cut it to 102-101.
Embiid shot 13 for 23, made 19 of 22 free throws and had nine rebounds, eight assists and two steals. He helped Philadelphia take an 88-79 lead going into the fourth. He had his streak of scoring 30 or more points in a franchise-record 10 straight games snapped in Wednesday’s 116-91 win at Chicago but made up for it.
Golden State nemesis James Harden sat out with left Achilles soreness for the Sixers, who had won nine of 10 and 10 of 12.
Thompson added 21 points and six rebounds and Looney contributed six points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Warriors reached 30 home wins for the sixth time since 2014-15 and second in a row.
“You want to take care of home court as best as you can,” Poole said.
Green had 10 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for Golden State, which had some momentum from two straight wins on the road following an 11-game skid away from Chase Center.
“I feel good. It’s that time of year you’ve got to turn everything up a notch,” Green said. “I love this time of year.”
Philadelphia, which had won the last two matchups, made 10 of 17 shots to start the game but missed its first eight 3-point tries before Georges Niang connected at the 8:06 mark of the second quarter.
Sixers coach Doc Rivers likes to get a round of golf in when visiting the Bay Area. He realizes how lucky he was to get to golf this trip — he played San Francisco Golf Club — given the recent crazy weather.
“I hear you guys had a tiny storm come in,” he cracked.
76ers: P.J. Tucker shot 0 for 5 and was held scoreless. … Rivers figures Harden might sit out against the Suns in Saturday’s back-to-back but could return at Denver on Monday night after missing his second straight game and third in four. … The Sixers are 18-8 against the Western Conference and 7-5 on the road. … F-C Jalen McDaniels also missed the game dealing with right hip soreness. He has been out the last two games and four of six.
Warriors: G Gary Payton II, yet to play for the Warriors since being acquired at the trade deadline Feb. 12 because of right adductor rehabilitation, went through a tough pregame workout: “Another day of choppin’ wood, another day,” he said. He is slated to practice Saturday and then that will determine if he might play during this home stretch. “He’s coming along well and I think there’s a chance he could play on this homestand,” coach Steve Kerr said.
76ers: At Phoenix on Saturday night to complete the road-road back-to-back.
Warriors: Host the Timberwolves on Sunday night having won the last 12 in the series at home.
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