At times in the playoffs, Clippers F Paul George has gotten a lot of heat for some of his performances. However, he silenced many people with his performance in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at Phoenix Suns Arena on Monday night.
George scored a playoff career-high 41 points on 15-20 shooting (3-of-6 3FG) to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds and team-high six assists as the Clippers avoided elimination and defeated the Suns 116-102.
The Suns lead the series 3-2. Game 6 is on Wednesday night at Staples Center
George, who scored 20 points(7-8 shooting, 3-3 3FG) in the third quarter, has scored 20-plus points in all 18 of the Clippers’ games this postseason.
George never seems to get the credit he deserves, and when asked if he feels he gets picked on, George said the following:
“I do. And it’s the honest truth. It’s a fact,” George said. “But I can’t worry about that. It comes with the job, I guess. But it is what it is. I still try to go and dominate, whether I’m shooting the ball well or not shooting the ball well. I still try to dominate, just the whole game in general. To me, it doesn’t come down to just scoring. It’s just being able to play both ends, rebound, and make plays for others. And so I’m beyond that. I’m beyond that. I am who I am. I wish I could shoot 80 percent, 75 percent, on a nightly basis, but it’s not realistic… They can judge me on what they want to. That part don’t matter to me. I’m going to go out there and hoop and give it everything I got.”
DeMarcus Cousins, who scored 15 points in 11 minutes off the bench on Monday, thinks it’s ridiculous how people talk negatively about George.
“I don’t know where this trolling bull—- has come from where the internet controls the narratives about these players,” Cousins said. “It’s becoming foolish, man. Like I said earlier in the year, that’s one of the most special players to ever lace his shoes up. Give this dude his flowers, man. I don’t understand the slander. It’s becoming quite silly now. Respect these players, man. Respect these greats.”
Despite the loss, Chris Paul, who had 22 points and eight assists in Game 5, remains confident.
We know we’ll go in there, a place where we won last time,” Paul said. “We know they’re going to be excited and ready to go, so we’ll be ready,”
If it has not been clear by now, it should be clear to everybody that the Clippers won’t be easy to eliminate. Even without Kawhi Leonard(sprained knee) and Ivica Zubac(MCL sprain), Los Angeles keeps finding ways.
Now, the pressure is on the Suns, and if you’re Phoenix, you don’t want to be in a position where you have to play a Game 7, so they want to end this series in Game 6.
-Devin Booker scored a team-high 31 points tonight to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Booker finished 9-of-22 from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point range. Tonight marked Booker’s seventh 30+ point game of the postseason, as he’s now averaging 37.3 points in three possible closeout games these playoffs.
-In the Suns’ three closeout opportunities this season, Devin Booker has totaled 112 points. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the 6th-most points by any player through his team’s first three closeout opportunities of a postseason.
MOST POINTS SCORED BY A PLAYER THROUGH TEAM’S FIRST THREE CLOSEOUT GAMES OF A POSTSEASON
Year Player Total Points
1989 Michael Jordan 132
1962 Wilt Chamberlin 125
1988 Michael Jordan 121
1962 Elgin Baylor 120
1992 Michael Jordan 119
2021 Devin Booker 112
-Reggie Jackson reached 20-plus points tonight for the third-straight game tonight and ninth time this postseason, scoring 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting (4-of-7 3FG). Jackson added 5 rebounds and 3 assists for the Clippers.
-Marcus Morris Sr. scored 22 points for the Clippers tonight, his fourth 20- point game of this postseason, and the most he’s scored in this series.