Paul George erupted for a playoff career-high 41 points on 15 of 20 shooting with 13 rebounds and six assists to help the Clippers win Game 5, 116-102 on the road and force a Game 6 on Wednesday. George is the first player in NBA history to have at least 40 points, 13 rebounds and six assists while shooting at least 75.0 percent from the field in a playoff game.
It has been next man up for the Clippers. With Kawhi out, they put the offense in Paul George’s hands and players like Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris and DeMarcus Cousins shined as a direct result of the attention George drew as the lead offensive weapon. PG-13 is such a natural playmaker. He keeps the dribble alive, has great vision and awareness plus timing. He finds shooters open when he needs to. It’s becoming more and more apparent that for Paul George to thrive, he needs to be the guy. Game 6 will take place on Wednesday at 9:00 PM ET at STAPLES Center.
Team to Win (Regular Time)
• Phoenix Suns: 1.94
• Los Angeles Clippers: 1.95
• Phoenix Suns: -1.5 (1.83)
• Los Angeles Clippers: +1.5 (1.99)
• Over 215.5 (1.95)
• Under 215.5 (1.87)
Key Points to Consider
Sometimes the first two or three minutes of a game are just as crucial as the last three minutes. This was evident on Monday. The Clippers started off strong and the Suns had to come from behind all game long. LA countered every time Phoenix made a run and were about to take the lead or took the lead. With Kawhi Leonard (plus-8.1 Offensive Box Plus/Minus in the playoffs) still out for the Clippers and the Suns at full strength, I can see the visitors getting back on track in a shootout because LA won’t go down without a fight and George and Jackson are playing inspired basketball.
The Over is 5-1 in Phoenix’s last six road games against a team with a home winning percentage above .600, 7-3 in Phoenix’s last 10 games following a double-digit loss at home, 25-11 in Phoenix’s last 36 games when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game, 5-1 in Los Angeles’ last six games overall and 5-1 in Los Angeles’ last six games playing on one days’ rest.
For the Suns, Devin Booker is expected to score 26.1 points with 6.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds, making 8.4 field goals in 19.9 attempts.
For the Clippers, Paul George is projected to finish with 24.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists, making 7.5 field goals in 17.9 attempts.
Four-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend pick on the Clippers in this one. Average score in simulations is Los Angeles Clippers 109.9 to Phoenix Suns 109.2.