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SAN FRANCISCO — Jordan Poole has seen the tweets and words written about his up-and-down fourth NBA season. He’s heard the dialogue on his sometimes lackluster defense on sports talk radio shows and podcasts.
Poole kept the receipts of his detractors and pulled them out after one of his biggest games of the season Friday night.
Poole wants the “extra slander” to end after he embodied “playoff JP” in the Warriors’ 120-112 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Poole exploded for 19 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to propel Golden State to its third straight win. He was playing within the flow of the game, scoring at all three levels and taking what the defense gave him. As a result, he shot 10 of 19 from the field and 6 of 11 from beyond the arc while also making seven of his team-high-tying eight free throw attempts.
“It felt like a JP performance from last postseason where he’s really attacking and shooting the ball with confidence,” coach Steve Kerr said Saturday after practice. “We stayed with him [in the fourth] because he was so effective and competed defensively.”
That last part is key. At times this season, Poole’s focus on the defensive end has wavered. But with the stakes increasing with each game as the regular season winds down and the Western Conference playoff picture still in balance, Poole is dialing up his aggressiveness on that end a notch in hopes to help the Warriors avoid the dreaded play-in tournament.
“When you like living up to those moments and playing in the big moments, you rise to the occasion,” Poole said. “When we’re locked in how we were in that fourth quarter, we’re a really special team and hard as hell.”
Poole’s improved defensive showing was what he was most proud of Friday. And so with the headset on, and the adrenaline pumping after a playing hero in a comeback win over a tough Eastern Conference competitor, Poole decided to take a moment to clap back at the haters.
“It’s definitely playoff JP, but what’s crazy is that y’all know that…is that you guys know that,” Poole said on NBC Sports Bay Area’s post-game show following the 120-112 win. “So I don’t wanna hear anything else, all of that extra slander that y’all be talking about. Y’all know what it is.”
And if you don’t, he was asked for a further explanation on what grievances he was trying to air out after the game.
“Y’all know what it is, y’all know what’s good,” Poole said. “Good win, big win, got it done on both ends, got another game in a couple of days.”
Golden State is in sixth place, resting 1 1/2 games ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers who take up the next two spots in the standings.
The Warriors host the Timberwolves Sunday at Chase Center.
Warriors guard wants ‘slander’ to end after ‘playoff JP’ shows up
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