SAN FRANCISCO – It’s no secret that Jordan Poole has a thing for theatrics. But his latest buzzer beater might be the most important shot he’s hit this post season.
The Warriors needed a spark after stumbling in the third quarter of Game 5 on Monday night, and Poole answered the call.
After the Warriors took a 12-point halftime lead over the Celtics, Poole pulled off a 38-footer as the clock expired to extend the 75-74 Golden State lead to enter the fourth quarter .
The shot was reviewed by officials to make sure he closes it on time – he did – but Pole wasted no time before reveling in his latest highlight-worthy basket with the Electric Chess Center crowd. Didn’t as he waved his tongue, screamed and high-fives fans sitting on the side of the court.
Poole helped stabilize the Warriors when Stephen Curry was not on the floor. His 3-pointer extinguished the Celtics’ momentum and propelled the Warriors 10-0 to start the fourth. The third-year guard scored five of his 14 points during that blast to open the final quarter as the Warriors defeated the Celtics 104–94 to take a 3–2 lead in the NBA Finals.
After the win, coach Steve Kerr said the Warriors’ reaction to the Celtics’ warm start to the third quarter, in which Poole played a key role, “was the most important part of the game.” Shortly before his third-quarter finisher, Poole scored a 3-pointer with a bounce pass from Curry to unite the Celtics’ lead.
“They came and passed us in that third quarter … and that was an important part of the game for us,” Kerr said. “Jordan hit some big ones at the end of the third and then the fourth was a good stretch to start as well.”
jordan pool on buzzer
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) 14 June 2022
Poole never shies away from taking the ball in his hands as the clock of play goes down. This is the second buzzer-beating bomb he has dropped at the end of the third quarter in this series alone.
In a Game 2 victory at Chase Center, Poole launched another 38-foot missile to seal Golden State’s third-quarter lead, leveling the series at 1-1.
Another unforgettable shot by the pool came during his freshman season at Michigan when he pulled out a game-winning last-second shot to help propel the Wolverines into the Sweet 16 over Houston in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
What is it about those moments that enables them to rise to the occasion?
“As far as shots are concerned, the end of the shot clock or the end of the quarter, I always want him and my teammates to find me,” Poole said. “As the clock goes down, the sliders go up. Keep on being aggressive and look for my shot and I think just be the moment.”
Poole has been rocky in the playoffs after a breakout run at the end of the regular season. But he has shown glimpses of his great potential as the final series unfolds. Poole, 22, became the youngest player to score five 3-pointers in the final game during Golden State’s blustery win in Game 2. On Monday night, Poole made a trio of baskets from downtown, shooting 50% from 3-point land.
“We have five games under our belt now, so looking at some coverage and how they get guarded,” Poole said, “so as the series is getting more comfortable.”
The Warriors are one win away from winning their fourth title in eight years, but the postgame mood in the locker room didn’t change, according to Poole.
“We are close to a game, but we still have 48 more who can get out there and play,” Poole said. “Stay off. Stay extremely focused and watch our adjustments and find ways to get better. We have a big take on the road, and we feel like we’re fully capable of it, but the work is clearly not done yet Well, we have one more we want to win.”