LA Clippers’ Paul George was late attributable to minute restrictions when the Brooklyn Nets bought away with a win
LOS ANGELES – Despite the LA Clippers guardian Paul George scoring 12 points in less than five minutes in the fourth quarter to spark a late comeback, he cheered his team on from the sidelines as he was kept out of the 2:50 final became close game against the Brooklyn Nets due to a minute limit.
With George on the bench, the Nets escaped the Staples Center with a 112-108 win on Sunday.
Afterward, George admitted it was frustrating not being able to finish the game after more than 32 minutes and 34 points, seven assists and six rebounds in his second game since returning from a seven game absence with a swollen toe.
“Man, I think you know the answer to that,” George said when asked how hard it was to skip the ending.
George had said on Friday after a 116-112 win over visiting Utah Jazz that he wasn’t ready to play 30 minutes after 27 minutes in his first second leg after 16 days of absence.
But George said his toe wasn’t a factor on Sunday as it helped the Clippers cut a 15-point deficit to six before being removed from the game. Not only did George hit two 3-pointers and bury six free throws in less than five minutes, but he also found Ivica Zubac for two easy baskets during that fourth quarter stretch.
“I was ready to go,” said George. “I wanted to go on.”
George said his toe, which was diagnosed with bone edema, was in no danger of getting infected from playing again.
“I know I can get started right now,” said George. “It’s an afterthought. I’m healthy and I feel good.”
Clippers manager Ty Lue said he started fourth quarter with George on the floor because the game slipped away.
“I thought the game was kind of out of control and we had to bring him back to finish the game,” said Lue. “And he played well and played well to get us back and then it’s a tough decision.
“But the greatest thing is that he is healthy and the greatest is the health of the player. We did what we could, but it is what it is.”
With no George on track, the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard scored six of his 29 points to end the game at 108, and it remained 28.6 seconds. After Nets center DeAndre Jordan scored a putback, Leonard drove on Nets guard James Harden and took a break from driving but was whistled for an offensive foul. At the beginning of the drive, Leonard seemed to be trying to keep Harden from grabbing his left arm. Then, as Leonard gathered and headed for layup, his left forearm made contact with Harden’s torso and the umpires called the foul.
“If we want to be pretty much faceball at the end of the game, let both sides play it,” said Leonard. “But they didn’t call it such a good defense. I was packed early, but like I said, no call, such a good defense.”
This wasn’t the first time any of the Clippers stars had a problem with the office when they narrowly lost to the Nets. When the Nets defeated the Clippers 124-120 in Brooklyn on February 2, George went to the free-throw line only once in 36 minutes. After the star trio of the Nets, Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving hit the foul limit 16 times together, while the Clippers saw a total of 17 free throws as a team, George said in his post-game interview: “It was disrespectful for me did it. ” a free throw attempt. “
After that final hard-fought loss to the Nets, George was asked how difficult it is to compete against players who sell contact to officials on both ends of the floor.
“It’s really hard, it’s really hard,” said George. “I mean, I didn’t really get into the flop game, but in today’s game it’s smart, you know what I mean?
“It’s smart. You control the referees. You have the referees under your belt, so kudos to the guys who are great at this part of the game.”
Lue said there was no point going over the call now.
“I mean, they named it, so there’s nothing you can do about it now,” Lue said. “I’m not a big complainant, however [someone] said [Harden] had his arm before Kawhi could push off and he said Harden grabbed his … I don’t know because I wasn’t looking at him. For me, it’s game over and there is nothing you can do about it, so this is what it is. “