Warriors guard Jordan Poole’s scorching-hot Christmas Day performance ended early when he was surprisingly ejected in the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Chase Center.
Poole, who still had a team-high 32 points, picked up his second technical and was sent to the locker room with 9:20 left in the Warriors’ eventual 123-109 win.
Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. made a 3-pointer, and Poole appeared to say something in the direction of one of the referees, who quickly assessed him a technical foul. On the Warriors’ previous possession, Poole was looking for a foul call on a drive to the basket.
The ejection was the first of Poole’s career, and he now has eight technical fouls this season.
The Warriors as a team were assessed six technical fouls in the game, including one each on coach Steve Kerr, veterans Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, and young forward Jonathan Kuminga.
After the game, Kerr said the number of technical fouls called on the Warriors bothered him, especially Poole’s second.
“He knows that he can’t get a second one,” Kerr told reporters. “He’s still a young player. Jordan was fantastic tonight. We needed his offensive firepower. The way he started the game, he set a great tone. So the great thing with Jordan is, I think he still has a level or two to go to get to the point where he’s really reaching his ceiling. And that involves just playing with poise, whether it’s avoiding the referees or just taking care of the ball at certain times. But he’s doing a great job of competing and helping us stay afloat offensively at times, at key times in the game.”
Poole made 11 of his 25 shots, including 3 of 10 from 3-point range, grabbed three rebounds, dished out two assists and finished the game plus-six.
Poole has scored at least 26 points in four of the five games in which he has played since Steph Curry suffered a left shoulder subluxation on Dec. 14.