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Paul George nails game winner on Thunder for 90-88 victory
By Jonathan Bassey ,Contributing Writer
Published November 20, 2019

Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George (13) drives against Oklahoma City Thunder’s Terrance Ferguson (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Paul George’s former team, Oklahoma City, arrived in Los Angeles looking to defeat the Clippers. The Thunder ended up on the wrong side of a game winning three-pointer by the elite forward propelling the Clippers to a 9-5 record. 

“That play was designed for me to be freed up, kind of a misdirection to draw attention to Lou [Williams] and [JaMychal Green] and then [Montrezl Harrell] coming to clean me up on the other side,” said George. “It was fun, it was fine, again it was any other game. It was fun to see familiar faces and share some laughs and just have good competition. I thought it was great competition all across the board.”

With Kawhi Leonard out due to a left knee contusion, the Clippers were short handed and trailed the Thunder going into halftime 47-42. Both teams had swarming defense resulting to the low scoring duel at the break.

 

“It was a low scoring game,” said Thunder Head Coach Billy Donovan. “Both teams had opportunities to shoot it better. It wasn’t like guys were under duress shooting, it just wasn’t a good shooting night, but there’s a lot of length out there and it was hard to finish around the basket. I can give credit to both teams defenses, and obviously they made one more play than we did coming down the stretch.”

Part of the Clippers trading piece to successfully acquire George from the Thunder was number 11 overall pick Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The second year guard is averaging 19.4 points per game and finished with 11 against his former team. 

 Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari, whom were both traded for George received sentimental tribute videos during the first break in the game. 

“It was cool. Clippers fans are obviously amazing, and they’ve been amazing every time I’ve been here,” said Gilgeous-Alexander.

“It was great. I didn’t expect the video tribute, so it was great to be back. It was great to see that video. Thank you to the Clippers. It was great. I’m very happy to be back,” said Gallinari. 

Montrezl Harrell once again showed his reliability off the bench and was too much to handle for the Thunder in the paint. Harrell finished the game with 28 points scoring 16 in the second half  willing his team to the finish line. 

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Danilo Gallinari (8) shoots aganist Los Angeles Clippers’ JaMychal Green (4) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 90-88. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

“They were trapping Paul [George] and Lou [Williams] all over the floor. That was [Montrezl Harrell] rolling down the paint and he took advantage of it. It was good,” Said Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers when mentioning Harrell’s success tonight. 

In George’s first two games back from shoulder rehab he scored 33 and 37 points, looking as if he never lost a step. This was George’s third game back and the 18 points and 7 turnovers were a complete change of pace from the fresh rejuvenated Paul.   

“I think these are the [games] we want at the end of the day. As good as we can be, and as much work as we have going forward, these are the games that we want,” said Paul George. “We want the games that are going to challenge us and the ones that we have to grind to get a win because these are the games that will be the best simulation for late in the year. We’ll take this, we’ll take the ugly ones, and we’ll take the blowouts. With this group, it’s all about taking one game at a time.”

George came up big when it mattered most hitting a three-pointer with 25 seconds left to give the Clippers the lead and send his old team home with the loss. 

 

The Clippers (9-5) will host the Celtics (11-2) at Staples Center Wednesday night at 7pm, in what could possibly be the first game Leonard and George play together this season, stay tuned.

Categories: Basketball | Sports
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