The Los Angeles Clippers made a slow start to Game 3 on Friday night but Kawhi Leonard and Paul George stepped up and the Clippers ended up clinching a comeback win over the Dallas Mavericks. The Clippers, who found themselves down 30-11 after the opening few minutes of the game, went to a small lineup and their offense took off.
The Clippers, who dropped the first two games on their home floor, beat the Mavericks 118-108 to reduce the deficit to 2-1. George scored 29 points, had seven rebounds and four assists. "We're down 2-1. We haven't shown anything," said George, per ESPN.
"We're not the favorites [to win it all]. We're not the defending champs. We haven't shown anything. "We have to continue to keep doing it. We've got to win this series, but it's one game at a time.
We've got to win Game 4 and send it back to L.A. Take home-court advantage. But off one win, we haven't shown anything."
Marcus Morris praises George, Leonard
"Those guys are killers," said Morris, who broke out of his playoff shooting slump with 15 points after getting an encouraging phone call from his twin brother, Markieff, at halftime.
"No matter what's being said in the media and what's being said in the outside world, them guys come in and work their ass off every single game." George felt the Clippers weren't playing their basketballl early on in the game.
"We felt like we weren't playing our game to begin with to be down 0-2," George said. "We felt like we weren't playing our style, and I thought tonight we got to that. This is where we hang our hat on, playing on the defensive side, and we didn't show any defense the first two games."
Clippers guard Rajon Rondo was happy with the way the Clippers delivered in pressure moments. "Obviously, backs against the wall," point guard Rondo said of the Clippers showing veteran poise and their playoff experience.
"Champions respond. We can't crown ourselves too early, but understand to have that mindset that when things get wrong, we got to fight, and tonight we stuck to the fight, down 19. I think that's one of the biggest obstacles in the playoffs.
"We haven't done anything special though. We won one game, and we'll watch the film tomorrow and see how we can come out better on Sunday and hopefully have the same type of outcome."