Believe it or not, after news broke reporting Kawhi Leonard would miss Game 5 of the Los Angeles Clippers' Western Conference semifinals, most NBA fans were convinced that the Californians had no chance against Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and the rest of the Utah Jazz.
Little they knew that Paul George was about to show up to lead his team to an important 3-2 lead at Vivint Arena. PG13 went off, scoring 37 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 assists in the 119-111 win.
Last week, he was welcomed with 'Pandemic P' and 'overrated' chants at the Jazz's arena. He got his revenge on Wednesday night, torching the Western Conference top-seeded in 40 minutes of play.
After the game, George talked about the Jazz's fans, admitting that he enjoys going against hostile crowds.
"You love it. As hostile as it is, as much as they're against me, they're against me for the right reasons. They love their team. They're passionate. Community passionate, state," the swingman said, via Justin Russo.
“It gets no better when it comes to that energy and how loud this crowd gets. They’re up there with the best of them. It’s fun. I enjoy it. I look forward to it. It’s a pleasure to play in front of these fans.”
Talking about his injured teammate Leonard, George admitted that without him on the court, things will get more difficult for the Clips. Nevertheless, he's ready to face that challenge, just like he did during his days in Indiana.
"I've been in Indiana, where I had to lead a franchise. The beauty here is that I get to do that with one of the best of the world in Kawhi. Now Kawhi's down, I'm back in that Indy mindset ... I just dug into a place I've been before in my career."
After his big game, George earned a lot of recognition around the league. He's ready to erase that perception that he underperforms in the playoffs, and last night's game was a big demonstration. Even fans apologized to him after his magical display.
Now George is headed back to Los Angeles to try to seal the deal for his team. As he stated, the Clippers need to be feared at Staples Center. If Playoffs P shows up in Game 6 again, the Jazz will have a hard time trying to defeat this team at home.