Tuesday’s Suns-Clippers box score – a crucial Game 2 victory for Phoenix in the Western Conference Finals – will show Paul George had a decent game.
Twenty-six points, on 10 shots out of 23; six assists; six rebounds; and 5 out of 10 shots from the free throw line. He also scored his team’s last six points, all in the last minute, to help the Clippers take a 103-102 lead with just 8.2 seconds left.
However, the only stats that ultimately counted in the Clippers’ 104-103 loss were the last two free throws George – a career 84.7 percent free throw shooter – missed. They ultimately gave Phoenix an incredible comeback victory, which can prove costly even as the series returns to Los Angeles.
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If George had sunk those two shots, the Suns would have needed a 3-pointer just to send the game into overtime. If he had sunk even one shot, they would have needed a 2 point. But he missed both, allowing the Suns to win on an inbound dunk with less than a second to go:
Credit to DeAndre Ayton, Jae Crowder and the Suns. This game will go down as one of the best games in NBA playoff history. But every heartbreaking loss needs a goat, and no one fits better than “Playoff P,” who could have secured his team a win with the simplest of basketball scoring games.
Here’s the bright side for the Clippers, if there is one: They’ve already overcome 2-0 deficits in each of their first two series against the Mavericks and Jazz, respectively. It’s probably a cold comfort as George and Co. make their way back to LA, however. Twitter’s scathing comments against George probably won’t help either:
all that buyout equity that Paul George had built that playoff …….
– Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) June 23, 2021