Clippers Live to Fight Another Day Behind Paul George’s Big Night

Clippers At Suns Series 3 2 Clippers Background

  • Paul George scored a playoff career-high 41 points to lead the L.A. Clippers to a 116-102 win in Game 5 of the 2021 Western Conference Finals.
  • With the win, the Clippers have cut the Suns’ series lead to 3-2 with Game 6 set for Wednesday at Staples Center.
  • George has scored at least 20 points in each of the Clippers’ 18 games during the current postseason.

With his team facing elimination, Paul George delivered the best playoff game of his career on Monday night in Phoenix.

George’s big game led the way in the Clippers’ 116-102 Game 5 win that cut the Phoenix Suns’ series lead to 3-2 with Game 6 of the 2021 Western Conference Finals slated for Wednesday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, and DeMarcus Cousins also stepped up big time for the Clippers who once again played without Kawhi Leonard and were also without Ivica Zubac. However, it was George’s career-night and historic game that fueled the Clippers’ win.

In Elite Company

George has scored at least 20 games in all of the Clippers’ games during this current playoff run. He’s only the 4th player in NBA history to accomplish the feat. Michael Jordan (3 times), Kobe Bryant (2008), and Kevin Durant (2012 and 2018) were the other three to do it, and they all made the NBA Finals during their respective runs.

PG is also the first player in NBA history to score 40+ points in a postseason game on at least 75% FG shooting, 50% three-point shooting, and 100% free throw shooting. George also joins Anthony Davis and Dwyane Wade as the only players since the 1997-97 season to score 30 points and shoot 80% in the second half of a playoff game.

George is also just the second player in NBA history to score 40 points, grab 10 rebounds, and issue 5 assists while shooting at least 50% in a playoff game. He is also the first Clippers player to put up a statline of 40-10-5 during the postseason.

But perhaps the most impressive stat is that the Clippers have won seven games when trailing in a playoff series, the most by any team in a single postseason. That shows how tough and resilient they are no matter what the odds they are facing. The best NBA betting sites still have the Suns as heavy favorites to win the series. But don’t expect George and the Clippers to just lay down and die.

Give This Dude His Flowers

After the game, Clippers center DeMarcus Cousins said that he’s at a loss why Paul George continues to receive heavy criticism in the internet. Boogie calls George “one of the most special player to ever lace his shoes up” and it’s time that we “give the dude his flowers”.

George has been crucified for his two missed free throws in Game 2 that ultimately led to Deandre Ayton’s tip-in game-winner. But if you take a look at how many minutes he has played in the current postseason, especially since Kawhi Leonard got hurt, you have to consider the fatigue factor in every shot or free throw that Paul George has missed or for every turnover he committed.

George has played in a total of 735 minutes during the current playoffs, which is the most by any player in both conferences. The player with the next most minutes is Trae Young and he has played only 568. George has played 40+ minutes in every game for a full month now and out of a possible 624 playable minutes in the last 24 days, George has played in 536 of them or 85.8%.

Given his playing minutes, these are the stats for PG’s last 10 games:

If those numbers are not good enough for you, go find another sport to watch.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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