Clippers George overcomes struggles, Nuggets stay alive

Thursday, August 27th, 2020 00:00 |
Paul George (centre) of the Los Angeles Clippers drives to the basket against Boban Marjanovic (left) of the Dallas Mavericks in the second half of game five of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on Tuesday night in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Photo/AFP

Los Angeles, Wednesday

Paul George says his struggles are over as he scored a team-high 35 points on Tuesday to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a dominating 154-111 playoff victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

George rebounded from three sub-par performances to combine offensively with Kawhi Leonard and give the Clippers a 3-2 series lead.

George opened up after the game about his struggles with coping inside the NBA’s quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida where the players have to adhere to strict health and safety measures and no spectators are allowed into the arena.

George says after being in a “dark place” he has finally got rid of the demons and is ready to help the Clippers with their playoff run.

“The bubble got the best of me. I was in a dark place,” said George, who spoke with a team therapist before game five. “I wasn’t here, I checked out.

“I was just in a bad place. I found my way. I am back and I look forward to the rest of this run. A shout out to people that stood behind me and were in my corner.”

George said he is now using mental tricks to raise his level of play.

“It was hard to get into playoff mode with no intensity, no fans, and no atmosphere,” he said. 

“We created the energy. I came in with the attitude that this is Staples arena and the place is packed. I had to create my own energy.”

Game six is Thursday.

The Clippers shot a spectacular 63.1 percent from the floor and 62.9 percent (22-of-35) from beyond the arc.

Leonard finished with 32 points and Montrezl Harrell added 19 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for Los Angeles.

Mavericks top scorer Luka Doncic finished with just 22 points after scoring 43 and nailing the game winner in overtime in game four.

Tim Hardaway scored 19 points and Trey Burke had 15 for the Mavericks, who were without star forward Kristaps Porzingis.

Also, Jamal Murray scored 42 points and Nikola Jokic had 31 as the Denver Nuggets avoided elimination with a 117-107 victory over the Utah Jazz in game five of their playoff series.

Denver looked tired in game three, but they bounced back nicely in games four and five and now trail three games to two in the best-of-seven Western Conference series. -AFP

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