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Poole scores 41, Thompson 31, Warriors beat Blazers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The Golden State Warriors have been working to find their defensive groove, and Draymond Green leads the charge. Yesterday, Green and his supporting cast got it done in crunch time.

Jordan Poole scored 41 points, Klay Thompson made a key three-pointer with 1:36 left and added 31, and the Warriors held off Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers 118-112 to improve the league’s best home record to 16-2.

Green’s defence keyed a late 12-0 run after the Warriors trailed by eight with five minutes to play, and now the reigning champions have their first four-game winning streak all season.

Lillard did his best to rally the Trail Blazers after halftime and finished with 34 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Poole notched his second 40-point game in the past 15 contests. His three with 2:57 remaining got Golden State within 110-109 but he turned the ball over the next possession before Jonathan Kuminga’s driving, two-handed slam for the lead moments later.

Golden State Warriors Jordan Poole. PHOTO: AP

Ty Jerome hit a half-court buzzer-beater to end the first quarter that put Golden State ahead 41-25, much to the delight of a cheering Stephen Curry as the reigning NBA Finals MVP missed his eighth straight game with a partially dislocated left shoulder. Poole has been the Warriors’ top scorer in nine of the 10 total games missed by Curry so far.

The Blazers, who have lost four of five, began the third on a 19-9 burst to go ahead 75-69.

Anfernee Simons added 22 points and seven rebounds. Lillard and Simons were a combined eight for 26 from long range.

Portland called timeout at the 10:25 mark of the first after the Warriors jumped out to a 9-0 lead by making their first four shots – three by Thompson.

Golden State has won the last four in the series and also four in a row at home.