How Ty Jerome’s defense keyed the Warriors’ comeback against the Trail Blazers
SAN FRANCISCO — Jordan Poole scored 41 points, Klay Thompson added 31 i Don DiVincenzo had some of the most impressive 16 seconds we’ve seen this season at the warriors‘ 118-112 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers Friday night at the Chase Center. How Golden State finished the third quarter might have been the secret sauce for the Warriors’ ruthless fourth quarter en route to their first four-game winning streak of the season
Draymond Green he said the play “changed the game for us” at a time the Warriors “could feed off of.” They never did.
The Warriors in the third quarter saw what was once an 18-point lead disappear into the San Francisco fog. A great start turned into an epic meltdown. After a missed 3-pointer by Klay Thompson, the Blazers had the ball with 26.9 seconds left in the quarter. The Blazers’ star guard moment Anfernee Simons half court cross, You Jerome focused on your goal.
Jerome went head-to-head with Simons with 10 seconds left. Three seconds later, he cleared it. Jerome then ran down the other side of the court, settling for a 3-pointer, but it was too strong just before the buzzer. The miss didn’t matter, the Warriors came back to life.
“I just knew I was going to trade the clock,” Jerome told NBC Sports Bay Area in the Warriors locker room after the win. “We didn’t have any fouls to give, but when someone dribbles the clock, I never want them to feel comfortable, that’s why I took him so high in the half, because I know he has to dribble 14 seconds. I don’t want to let him sit there and dribble comfortably
“I want to try to push up, not let him get a head of steam. And then I just saw him do that half turn early in the game. So as soon as he turned his back, I was like, ‘Oh, the half the turn is coming. I just swiped there, and I’m still mad about missing that pull-up 3.
“That had to go in, that had to go in.”
Watch the defensive masterclass over and over again. Now look at the Warriors bench.
The second Simons starts his half lap and Jerome recognizes the move, Poole starts to get out of his seat. Just as Jerome secures his steal, Curry gets up and runs to the sideline. Jonathan Kuminga he waves the towel like a third base coach sending someone home in the ninth inning.
As Jerome returned to the Warriors’ bench late in the quarter, an elated Curry was the first to meet him on the court. After the biggest star in the building, coach Steve Kerr was grinning from ear to ear despite his team trailing by eight points. He couldn’t have known what would happen next, though it was clear how much momentum Jerome could have built.
“I was walking back to the meeting and I just saw Steph going crazy,” Jerome said. “He was like, ‘I don’t care if you miss it! I don’t care if you miss it! But in my head, I was so mad that I missed the shot’ .
To open the fourth quarter, the Warriors went on a 5-0 run. Later, they used a 12-0 run to go from eight points down to four up.
Led by Poole’s 11 points in the final stretch, the Warriors nearly doubled the Blazers’ point total in the quarter. Watching the play unfold from the bench, he felt Jerome’s defense was a motivator on both sides of the ball.
“That was some really good defense right there,” Poole said. “At the end of the third quarter, we’re putting the ball into the fourth quarter out of halftime and we’re just feeding off the energy. We know Ant’s a really good shot maker and he’s a big part of their offense. so being able to have Ty just come in and shut down and shut down on that last possession gave us really good momentum going into the fourth.
“Little things like that, especially later in the game, we find ways to give you some motivation and run with it and find ways to close out the game.”
Really, though, the fourth quarter was all about the Warriors’ defense. They had just conceded 40 points in the previous quarter. But the third ended on a very high note defensively.
What Draymond Green, Kuminga and DiVincenzo did in the defensive fourth was dominance by definition. Six Warriors scored in the quarter. Only three did for the Blazers. The Warriors recorded six steals in the final 12 minutes and one block, outrebounded Portland 15-11 and held them to 35 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from deep.
Unprompted, Green was the first to mention Jerome’s defense. In the eyes of one of the all-time great defenders, everything changed for the Warriors at that moment.
“You see a guy that just puts it all on the line, gets stuck on the defensive end and makes stops, especially when we were on each other, that’s something you can build on that end, and we were able to do that. this,” he said.
The Warriors have been looking for consistency this season, asking for it. His first three quarters were a picture of how the first 37 games had gone. It was a rollercoaster whose highs were fun and flashy, but whose lows felt like new ways to rock bottom.
Their top two scorers were out, and the Warriors appeared to be ending the year with a losing record and a sour taste in their mouths. A jolt set them off, and the culprit is a player who has become vital in recent weeks.
“And after the 16-point quarter, we just found ways to win,” Jerome said. “We didn’t play great, but we found a way to win. That’s great for us right now.”
Beating the Memphis Grizzlies Christmas is definitely what started this winning streak. The Warriors then fought a fight from the Charlotte Hornets two nights later In the second night of a matchup, the Warriors overcame a 12-point deficit and held on Utah Jazz to 13 points in the fourth quarter.
And then, to cap off the year, the Warriors once again overcame a double-digit hole, doing it with elbow grease and a blowout win behind a determined defense. Not too long ago, the Warriors seemed to have forgotten that side of the ball existed. Lately, they’re starting to show flashes of their championship defense a season ago.
Especially when it matters most. In their last three matches, seconds WarriorsMuse on Twitter, the Warriors are holding opponents to 15.4 percent from the field in the clutch and 18.8 percent on 3-point attempts. In clutch situations, the Hornets, Jazz and Blazers were 4-for-26 from the field and 3-for-16 from deep.
All he’s waiting for is Curry and Andrew Wiggins. One was playing like the best player on the planet before suffering a left shoulder injury and the other was headed for his second straight All-Star Game before going down to a right adductor strain and an illness.
“This is huge,” Jerome said. “To have our longest winning streak of the year without the best player in the world and another All-Star and Klay not playing one of the games, it just speaks to everyone on the team stepping up.
“Every night it’s been somebody different. Jordan was unreal tonight, Klay was great. Draymond was great on defense. Donte was huge. JK vs. Charlotte won it for us down the stretch. Tonight was great It’s been every game a new person.
“That’s a really fun way to play basketball, when you have somebody new that gets up every night.”
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