Clippers Take Crucial 3-2 Lead as “Playoff P” Finally Lives up to His Name

Aug 21, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers looks to pass against Dorian Finney-Smith #10 of the Dallas Mavericks during the second half in a NBA basketball first round playoff game at AdventHealth Arena
Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo-USA TODAY

Last night, the Clippers took down the Mavericks and took a decisive 3-2 lead in the series. Paul George, or “Playoff P” led the way with 35 points.

After the Mavericks took a huge Game 4 victory to even the series, their first-round matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers appeared as competitive as ever. However, that was far from the case in Game 5. The Clippers jumped out to an early lead and unlike last game, didn’t look back. LA won by a video-game-like score of 154-111.

The Clippers were firing on all cylinders. They scored the 3rd most points ever in a single playoff game, made a franchise-record 22 3-pointers, and neutralized Luka Doncic just 1 game after his 43-point triple-double. Nine Clippers scored 8 points or more in what was truly a team effort all-around.

But the biggest headline of tonight came in the form of Paul “Playoff P” George’s performance. George, who played uncharacteristically bad in his last three games (10/47 shooting), needed a strong showing tonight to silence his ever-so-vocal doubters — and he delivered.

Playing Through Negativity

PG13 was unfazed by his recent debacles, playing with confidence and aggression from the very first possession. He scored 35 in only 25 minutes of play, topping the combined scoring totals of his last 3 games. George finally proved himself worthy of his self-proclaimed nickname, at least for the time being.

If this strong outing becomes the new normal for George moving forward, the Clippers will be incredibly tough to beat in a 7-game series. In fact, they’re already a dangerous team even without him playing up to par.

Kawhi Leonard’s history in the playoffs indicates that he’ll continue his dominance in potential later rounds, and LA’s bench is among the league’s deepest. Add in a consistent Paul George, and the Clips have themselves a legitimate championship formula.

With a commanding 3 games to 2 lead, the Clippers will have a chance to close out the series on Thursday, August 27.

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