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Plant-based Chris Paul turns back clock in a perfect and historic NBA playoff shooting performance

By NICK GARCIA Published Apr 29, 2022 3:47 pm

Even age can't seem to slow down Chris Paul as the crafty veteran, who turns 37 in a week, lived up to his moniker "point god" after pulling off a masterful shooting clinic to power the Phoenix Suns past the New Orleans Pelicans en route to the second round of the NBA Playoffs

The Suns beat the Pelicans in Game 6, 115 to 109, winning the series 4 to 2 on April 29 (Manila time). 

The Pelicans were leading at halftime and were poised to force a seventh game—before the Suns closed out the game and clinched the series through a rally within the last two minutes of play. 

The 12-time All-Star Paul ended the game with 33 points off a perfect 14-of-14 shots from the field, the first time such a flawless stat line happened in the NBA playoffs.

The Suns will advance to the semifinals and, on May 2, will face Dallas Mavericks, which outlasted Utah Jazz, 98 to 96, in their own Game 6.

Paul, who is now on his 17th NBA season, has attributed his newfound late-career resurgence to the plant-based diet that he started in 2019. He credits this change as being instrumental in bouncing back from his career, which saw a scoring slump during the 2018-19 season.

In an interview with Men's Health Magazine in January 2020, Paul shared that it's "so crazy" to ball with twenty somethings as a basketball player already in his 30s.

Paul has been a brand ambassador of the plant-based company Beyond Meat and was an executive producer of Game Changers, a 2018 documentary about athletes who have plant-based diets. Paul said the docu also influenced him in his decision to go green.

"For me, being as competitive as I am, I looked at this and I was like: hold up, let me try this out," Men's Health quoted Paul as saying. “I chose a plant-based life. So far, so good. Not easy. But for me it’s working."

In another interview with Men's Health in December 2021, Paul who was already under a plant-based diet for two years at the time said he believes it has helped reduce his body aches, which he's been dealing with for years.

“I do feel really good right now," he said, noting that he has done away with sitting in a cold tub after every game.

“When I learned that food should be fuel for your body,” he said, “that is when it changed for me.”

Paul joins a growing list of athletes who have opted for plant-based or plant-centric diets, like Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving, tennis icon Venus Williams, mixed martial artist Nate Diaz, as well as football quarterbacks Tom Brady and Justin Fields.

Meanwhile, here are some of the reactions to Paul's historic performance: