Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers
Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers

Since Kawhi Leonard went down with an ACL injury in Game 4 against the Utah Jazz, Paul George was the lone superstar on the Los Angeles Clippers.

They were able to pull off the upset and the 0-2 comeback, over the No. 1-seed Jazz in six games thanks to the heroics of George, Reggie Jackson and Terrance Mann.

For the Clippers, their story throughout most of the postseason has been being the comeback kids. NBA fans on social media have repeatedly stated that there’s nothing more dangerous in the Western Conference Playoffs than the “0-2 Clippers”.

They were down two games against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in the first round and against Donovan Mitchell’s Utah team.

But being behind two games takes its toll on a team and the man who is expected to carry them for the most part.

In their seven-game series against the Mavericks, “PG13” averaged 23.6 points, nine rebounds, 5.7 assists, and just 3.1 turnovers per game.

It looks like a dominant outing for George as he showed that he still has what it takes to be a playoff performer, but he averaged 40.6 minutes in the series too.

The Utah series really asked a lot from the former Indiana Pacer as he upped his production to 29 points, 9.5 rebounds, and one steal per game while averaging 40.8 minutes per game.

It can be argued that George took a backseat to Terrance Mann’s explosive 39-point performance in Game 6, but to his credit, “PG13” had a near triple-double performance himself with 28 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in 46 minutes.

A couple of days later, they’d be facing the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals and even more would be asked of him.

The Clippers caught a break when Chris Paul was put on the league’s health and safety protocols after he contracted COVID.

However, they couldn’t capitalize and they went down 0-2 in the first two games.

The Clippers seemingly had it in the bag in Game 2, but the “Valley-Oop” got in the way.

The other story in Game 2 was George’s bricking of the two free throws that could’ve put the Clippers up by three, meaning the Suns will have to make a three to send the game into overtime.

Whether it can be attributed to general fatigue from digging themselves out of a hole in the previous series or not, his misses sealed the game in Phoenix's favor.

George became the subject of memes and was even called by ESPN’s Shannon Sharpe as “Polyester P” for "shrinking" in the playoffs.

But he bounced back with a better performance in the Game 3 win with 27 points and 15 rebounds in 43 minutes.

Paul George Game Two

JUNE 22: controls the ball around Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the fourth quarter in game two of the NBA Western Conference finals at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 22, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In the fourth quarter of Game 4, the Clippers were on the verge of taking the lead with George hitting a jumper to get them within one point. Then the worst fourth quarter in recent memory happened.

Phoenix missed seven straight shots and the Clippers missed with eight of their own.

George himself had an abysmal quarter as he shot 1-of-7 from the field and finished the night with 5-of-20 shooting from the field.

After the game, George had this to say about his and the team’s performance: “We were just trying to play through it, get a breakthrough and play faster. It was tough to get it to go down.”

Obviously, no one on the Clippers would admit to being tired, but it showed in how they played.

As a team, the Clippers shot 32.5% from the field and lost the game, 84-80.

Head coach Tyronn Lue was asked if there was some sense of fatigue among the Clippers and said, “It could be. But it’s no excuses at this time of the season. Guys could be a little tired. We’ve just got to fight through.”

George and the Clippers will be looking to come back from a 3-1 deficit against the Suns in Phoenix on Monday, June 28 at 9:00 pm ET.