Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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Clippers ‘nonetheless within the driver seat’ coming into Recreation 7 vs. Nuggets, Paul George says

The reeling LA Clippers have blown two massive leads in a row and have stunningly squandered their 3-1 lead of their best-of-seven Western Convention semifinal collection to the Denver Nuggets.

However Paul George says it’s the Clippers who’re “nonetheless within the driver seat” coming into a do-or-die Recreation 7, regardless of collapsing down the stretch of their previous two losses.

“It is optimistic,” George stated of the Clippers’ temper after a 111-98 loss to the Nuggets in Recreation 6 on Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. “This group’s staying collectively. We nonetheless within the driver seat. It is not a panic mode. We have now a Recreation 7. I like our odds with our group. We put ourselves on this place and it is on us to get ourselves out of it.”

The Clippers led 68-49 with 10:10 left within the third quarter solely to look at Denver outscore them 60-25 over the subsequent 20 minutes. The Clippers’ 19-point blown lead matches the biggest lead given up with an opportunity to clinch a convention finals look since 1997. The Clippers misplaced a 19-point cushion in Recreation 6 of their 2015 collection towards the Houston Rockets.

Nonetheless, George believes the Clippers will discover a approach to repair their season-long difficulty of shedding massive leads after blowing a 16-point lead in Recreation 5 to Denver.

“We all know what we’re up towards,” George stated. “We have now the utmost respect for them as opponents, however I like our possibilities. I like our odds. I like what now we have. Once more, it is on us to complete this out.”

“We have simply acquired to return to the movie and see what we’re doing,” George added. “I feel that is the one query that must be answered is why aren’t we matching them.”

The Nuggets, although, would be the crew with all of the momentum and a ton of Recreation 7 expertise coming into Tuesday night time. They are going to be enjoying of their fourth consecutive Recreation 7 relationship again to final postseason. They usually had been simply the 12th crew in NBA historical past to beat a 3-1 deficit after they beat the Utah Jazz within the first spherical.

The Clippers franchise, in the meantime, has not been capable of get previous the second-round wall, falling to 0-7 in alternatives to clinch a convention finals berth. Solely baseball’s Oakland Athletics, who misplaced 9 straight, have blown extra alternatives to advance to the spherical earlier than a championship collection amongst NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL groups, in keeping with Elias Sports activities Bureau analysis.

In his postgame session with reporters, Kawhi Leonard was requested, “Did you guys simply choke right this moment?” The Clippers shot 4-for-20 within the third quarter.

“Simply went chilly,” replied Leonard, who had 25 factors, eight rebounds and 5 assists. “We went chilly in that third quarter. That is it. We saved attending to the paint, passing the ball, acquired a bit stagnant and simply could not make photographs.”

The Clippers must lean on their chief, Leonard, who hit the buzzer-beating sport winner to assist Toronto beat Philadelphia 92-90 in Recreation 7 of the East semis final postseason.

“Simply acquired to depart all of it out on the ground and ensure we’re listening to element and executing and speaking on the defensive finish,” Leonard stated of his message to his crew coming into Recreation 7. “And that is all we are able to do, go on the market and play onerous and simply ensure we all know the sport plan.”

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