The Golden State Warriors averted disaster on Friday at Chase Center, finally pulling away from the tanking San Antonio Spurs midway through the fourth quarter for a 130-115 victory. Here are three key reactions from the defending champions' fifth win in six games, one that ties them with the LA Clippers at 41-37 for the fifth-best record in the West.

A discouraging Golden State win

It seemed like the Warriors were actively gunning for their worst loss of the season at times on Friday.

Golden State was 0-for-12 from deep but 12-15 inside the arc early in the second quarter. Shot-making was an issue, obviously, but the offense was clicking well against the league’s worst defense otherwise-at least, shocker, when the Dubs weren’t being careless with the ball.

They had five turnovers in the first quarter, hardly unheard of for the Warriors, unfortunately. But most of those miscues were loud, made even worse when they were compounded by breakdowns on the other end.

That's the second time Jonathan Kuminga was back-doored for a layup early.

Jordan Poole was bodied by Spurs rookie Malaki Branham for an easy finish, offering barely any resistance on a straight-line drive. Branham got another layup when Poole was flattened by an off-ball screen early in the shot clock and Steph Curry barely reacted as a helper. Not even Kuminga and Donte DiVincenzo could contain Blake Wesley off the bounce.

Anthony Lamb's wild back-to-back drives ending in a bad spinning miss and smothered floater in heavy traffic wasn't quite Golden State's worst sequence at the rim. After Donte DiVincenzo had his shot swatted in transition on one end, he literally tapped the ball through the rim on the other.

When was the last time you saw Curry, even off-balance after a forearm shiver, air mail a floater? Gorgui Dieng's wide-open trail triple the next possession was his third three of the game.

Talent, and some inevitable three-point shooting regression, won out in the end. It's not surprising Golden State came out a bit flat against a team like the Spurs at home. This was basically a trap game amid an extremely high-pressure finish to the regular season.

But the Warriors overcame a nine-point deficit to lead at intermission then went up 11 early in the second half, only for the same lack of competitive edge and focus to come back to bite them. They were down 88-87 entering the fourth quarter despite Klay Thompson's 16 points in the third. San Antonio was still within a couple possessions midway through the final stanza.

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A win is a win for the Dubs right now. A start-to-finish blowout versus basketball's worst team on Friday would've been more reason to think they've finally turned the page toward contention, though. Instead, Golden State looked like the same team that's still battling to avoid the play-in tournament.

Jordan Poole, always flammable

The Warriors got their first lead of the game at 2-0. Their next didn't come until late in the first half, when Poole erupted for 12 of his team's final 14 points entering intermission in typical highlight-reel fashion.

First he drained a deep three after stepping behind a dribble hand-off from Kevon Looney. Then Poole got Sandro Mamukelashvili on skates following a switch, taking contact to bank in a tough floater plus the foul. Clearly still feeling it, he launched from an angled 30 feet two possessions later, a splash that brought Chase Center to its feet and extended the lead Poole gave Golden State to 52-46.

Poole was a defensive liability again on Friday after fighting harder on that end in recent games. He had three more turnovers, evidence of his still questionable decision-making even while making a more concerted effort to set up teammates. Shooting nights like this one—Poole went 6-of-13 from beyond the arc—have still been fewer and further between this season than anyone anticipated.

But there probably isn't another team in basketball with off-dribble playmakers as imminently flammable as he and Curry. Their personal scoring runs were the main factors that saved the Warriors from a highly damaging, flat-out embarrassing loss to the Spurs.

While Poole's season still counts as a disappointment so far, it should hearten Dub Nation—and terrify opponents—heading into the playoffs that he's capable of single-handedly changing the game at pretty much any time, just like Curry and Klay Thompson.

Clippers still hold tie-breaker over Warriors

You probably remember Curry's last 50-point game, an instant-classic performance that left a slack-jawed Steve Kerr calling it the best he'd ever seen the reigning Finals MVP, four-time champion and two-time league MVP. What's pretty to forget is that it came in one of the season's most frustrating losses, and not just because Curry's epic effort was wasted in defeat.

The Clippers beat the Warriors 134-126 on March 15th in Los Angeles, ending the season series between the teams at 2-2. The next playoff tie-breaker for teams from the same division after simple wins and losses and head-to-head matchups? Division record, of course, and it's one LA is likely to own come April 9th.

The Warriors are 6-9 versus Pacific division foes with one game remaining, while the Clippers are 7-7 with two left. Golden State will only win the tie-breaker over LA if it beats the Sacramento Kings in the second-to-last game of the regular season and Ty Lue's squad falls to the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns in two of its last three.

It might be best for the Dubs to remain in sixth entering the postseason, though. Would they rather deal with the Kings in a potentially iconic first-round series or Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and the Suns in a titanic clash?

While you're watching the standings over the next week-plus, try not gritting your teeth remembering why the Clippers hold the tie-breaker over over the Warriors. It really could help the defending champs' hopes of repeating.