Golden State survives behind Poole’s eruption

DETROIT – Jordan Poole received his challenge and it was a high.

“I need 50!” shouted an acquaintance of the third-year guard out of Michigan from the seats at the yard near the Warriors bench. “I got you,” replied Poole, who looked like he might just reach that mark before settling for a season-high 32 to bring the underserved Warriors to a 105-102 victory over the Pistons.

After a quartet of key players, the Warriors relied on Poole and Andrew Wiggins to carry the offensive burden and return home from a four-game road trip with three wins and a 14-2 record, still at the top of the NBA.

Clearly the fans inside the Little Caesars Arena were disappointed not to be treated to yet another play by Steph Curry, who missed his first game of the season while grooming a bruised left hip; the arena erupted in cheers as the Warriors’ battered superstar emerged from the tunnel a few minutes inside the match.

It was just as clear that the Warriors had to rely on Poole and Andrew Wiggins to carry the offensive burden, with Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. all out with various bumps and bruises.

When Poole and Wiggins went together, there was no competition. The Warriors ran out to a 17-4 lead, with the duo coming together for 14 of those points, but Chris Chiozza put in for Poole around the 5 minutes and the Golden States lead disappeared.

The Warriors did not regain control until Poole sat back with the Wiggins in the final stretch of the first half, where they got a 16-6 run. With the two on the field, Golden State outscored Detroit 59-38 (45-19 after 3), but as both left the floor, the Pistons had a 64-46 advantage.

Wiggins’ newfound aggression continued into his sixth game.

Following his breakout game against Minnesota, Wiggins has attempted no fewer than 11 shots in any of the last seven games and has only scored less than 15 in one game. He delivered his fourth 20-point performance of the season Friday with 26 on 9-of-16 shots; all but one have come in the last seven games.

As for the 22-year-old guard from Milwaukee via the University of Michigan, no one has embodied the highs and lows of a talented young player more than Poole.

After a streak of three games in which he led the Warriors in scoring in each competition, Poole had not topped 20 in the last six games. On Friday, he reached that mark at the break, the fourth time in his career, he fell 20 times in halftime.

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