SAN FRANCISCO — Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson made sure the Warriors would be ringing in the new year on a season-long win streak.
The Warriors overcame a double-figure deficit for the second consecutive game to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 118-112 Friday night.
Poole scored 41 points and Thompson added 31 and knocked down seven 3s to help Golden State win its fourth consecutive game and fifth game since Stephen Curry went down with a shoulder injury earlier this month.
The Trail Blazers, led by Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons, tried to overtake the reigning champs, taking the lead in the third and maintaining it until the fourth. But Poole pointed to a “pretty energetic timeout” in the second half that prompted a gritty and hard-fought ending to push the Warriors back on top by the time of the final horn rang.
Poole scored 11 of his game-high points in the fourth. He hit a 30-footer with 2:57 remaining in the game to pull the Warriors within one. Less than a minute later, Jonathan Kuminga threw down a driving dunk for the lead. Then, Thompson drained a 3 to extend the Warriors’ advantage to four.
A Donte DiVincenzo 3 with 24 seconds left deflated the Trail Blazers’ hopes of coming back.
“We just stayed with it, and I think we had to summon some energy [with this being the] fourth game in six nights,” coach Steve Kerr said after the win. “We had some lulls in the game but the guys kept competing and kept fighting. The defensive effort down the stretch was fantastic.”
After giving up 71 points in the second and third quarters, the Warriors held the Blazers to just 16 in the final quarter while scoring 30.
“It’s just a sense of urgency,” Poole said of the team’s fourth-quarter defensive effort. “Luckily, we were at home and we were able to feed off the energy of the crowd. Just finding ways to find it inside you to win games, lock in and play together and execute down the stretch offensively and defensively.”
Golden State looked dominant out of the gates, expanding its lead to as many as 18 in the first quarter. Thompson and Poole combined for 29 of the Warriors’ 41 points. And a Ty Jerome near halfcourt buzzer-beater put Golden State up 16 at the end of the opening quarter.
But that advantage started to dissolve in the second and into the third, with the Blazers taking their first lead of the game off a Jerami Grant 3 shortly after halftime.
But the Warriors, playing without two of their starters, found a way to get the game back in their control down the stretch.
“We’re just starting to fight,” Green said. “Tonight we got off to a great start and we kind of let go of the rope. We found a way to battle back, so I think we’re just really finding that competitive spirit that it takes to win in this league. And it’s starting to show in the win column.”
The 19-18 Warriors remain nearly unbeatable at home, improving to 16-2 at Chase Center. They have four games remaining on this homestand. They’ll host the Atlanta Hawks Monday, Detroit Pistons Wednesday and Orlando Magic Friday before ending this stretch of home games against the Phoenix Suns Jan. 10.
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