Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George didn't seem to be particularly worried about his team after they lost to the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinals series. The Clippers had a 19-point lead before the Nuggets staged a shock comeback to win 111-98 and even the series at three games apiece.
The Nuggets, who trailed by 16 points at the halftime, won the second halftime 64-35. George scored a team-high 33 points and also grabbed six rebounds but it wasn't enough. In Game 5, the Clippers blew a 16-point lead against the Nuggets.
Speaking of the team's mood following the two disappointing losses, George said, per ESPN: "It's positive. This group's staying together. We still in the driver seat. It's not a panic mode. We have a Game 7.
I like our odds with our group. We put ourselves in this position and it's on us to get ourselves out of it."
George says the Clippers respect the Nuggets
"We know what we are up against," George said.
"We have the utmost respect for them as opponents, but I like our chances. I like our odds. I like what we have. Again, it's on us to finish this out." 2019 NBA Finals Kawhi Leonard wants the Clippers to stay calm and leave it all on the court in Game 7.
"Just got to leave it all out on the floor and make sure we are paying attention to detail and executing and communicating on the defensive end," Leonard said of his message to his team entering Game 7. "And that's all we can do, go out there and play hard and just make sure we know the game plan."
Meanwhile, Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone says the players on the team never stop believing in themselves -- even they are doubted or written of. "I think what it comes down to is an inner belief, an inner confidence," Malone said.
"We started off training camp back in September in Colorado Springs talking about winning a championship. And we still have those same goals. We've never lost sight of that. Four months during the hiatus, coming back into the bubble, trying to get healthy -- we've always felt that we were good enough.
No one else does. But we don't care. We don't listen to the noise. We've always had this internal belief in ourselves and our collective group that we're good enough to win a championship."