Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George joked a bit following a Kawhi Leonard clutch block to seal the team's win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals. The Clippers led 109-103 with just less than two minutes to go when Leonard met Jamal Murray at the rim on a dunk attempt and blocked the Nuggets guard to protect a six-point lead.
The Clippers ended up winning 113-107 and now they are 2-1 up. "That's an extra-long middle finger," George said of Leonard, per ESPN. "Like it kept growing or something. That's Kawhi, man." Clippers coach Doc Rivers described the clutch Leonard block as "amazing."
"That play by Kawhi was amazing," Rivers said of Leonard, whose hands measured at 9.75 inches long at the NBA draft combine in 2011. "I didn't know it was with one finger. I thought he just blocked it, but it was impressive.
I didn't even know where he came from."
George says Leonard needs help
George put a big performance in Game 3, scoring a team-high 32 points. "I've got to help him," George said of taking the scoring load off Leonard's shoulders.
"Kawhi's done more than enough down this stretch. Some nights, it's not going to be his night, and I have to be myself. I have to help him, pull the weight, make plays, make shots." "Give him credit, getting us this far, but he can't go into every game with that pressure that he's got to be great on both ends."
Clippers guard Low Williams, who scored 10 points off the bench, praised George for his Game 3 performance. "Both ends of the floor, Paul really exerted himself, really took a leadership role in this game," said Lou Williams, who had two of the Clippers' seven steals.
"I think a lot of our guys felt in that fourth quarter that we didn't want to lose this game." Meanwhile, Leonard recalled his clutch block on Murray. "I just saw him penetrating," Leonard described the play.
".. So I stepped up and tried to contest his shot. "I think we need to be consistent throughout the whole 48 minutes, but you got to give Denver credit. They are a good basketball team, they have been together for a while, they know how to make adjustments on the fly, they got a good coach, it's playoff basketball. But for us, definitely want to see it throughout."