Jordan Paul's final year with the Warriors included a fist to the face from his teammate, Draymond Green, an early playoff exit and a trade to the Washington Wizards.
But Paul's time in the Gulf was not all negative.
As Golden State prepares to host Washington on Friday night at Chase Center, Paul and his former Warriors teammates Shared with Anthony Slater of The Athletic Some of their favorite memories from the four years they spent together.
“There was one game we started together where I think I went for 35 points and he went for 30,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson told Slater. “We were playing jazz and we came back from behind 20. It was a great moment for us to know, you know, that we could do this.”
The game Thompson is referring to was during the final stretch of the 2021-22 regular season. Paul replaced the injured Steph Curry for the final 12 games and averaged 25.8 points on 42.1 percent shooting during that span, with five rebounds and 6.2 assists in 35.4 minutes.
Curry returned for the playoffs, but Ball's production was just as consistent, as he averaged 17 points per game on 50.8 percent shooting, helping the Warriors secure their fourth NBA title in eight seasons.
“To do what he did,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Started the first 50 games, then ceded his position to Klay and then played a big role in the playoffs. He started games, came off the bench, and did everything we wanted Jordan to do.
Against the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, Paul dropped 30, 29 and 27 points in the first three games of the series. Kevon Looney said that was one of his favorite Paul memories, recalling a transition 3-pointer against DeMarcus Cousins.
“That's when I said, 'Oh, he's going to be really good,'” Looney told Slater. “You do that in his first qualifying experience, you're not nervous? Steph came off the bench, and he still had a great show.
For Paul, his favorite game with Golden State was Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies. Kerr agreed.
In that game, Green was sent off for a hard foul on Brandon Clarke and Paul replaced him in the starting lineup in the second half. On an ugly shooting night for Curry, Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, Paul stepped up in a big way, scoring 31 points on an efficient 12-of-20 (60 percent) shooting from the field and 5-of-10 (50 percent) from behind the arc.
“Oh, yeah, when we played with Tyus [Jones] “They are,” Paul told Slater as he pointed to Jones, now his Wizards teammate. “Especially with him on the road.”
“He saved us a lot in that playoff run,” Looney said.
All three of Curry's favorite Paul moments came during the 2022 NBA Finals. During the Game 6 clincher in Boston, it was Paul who sparked a 21-0 run that helped the Warriors defeat the Celtics and ultimately be crowned champions.
“That was a beautiful thing,” Curry said. “But also the half-court shots. Games 2 and 5.”
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