Paul George dropped a season-high 38 points as the Los Angeles Clippers raced past the Oklahoma City Thunder, 128-117, and inched closer to the top of the Western Conference standings.
The 33-year-old George was clutch in the fourth quarter, catching fire to seal the game against the Thunder. He put up 18 points in the fourth quarter alone.
"I know what I'm capable of. I know what I can do in this league..." George said. "Honestly, I'm just committed to winning and that's it."
The 6-foot-8 forward’s huge fourth quarter was capped off by a scintillating sequence that cause the Los Angeles crowd to erupt. He drained a three over Lu Dort and shimmied his way back on defense. The next possession, George stole the ball from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and ran the length of the floor for a thunderous reverse jam, sending the Crypto.com Arena into a frenzy.
OMG PAUL GEORGE!!! WHAT A SEQUENCE!!! pic.twitter.com/TxCnAivMUB— Oh no he didn't (@ohnohedidnt24) January 17, 2024
Gilgeous-Alexander, who will always be linked to George since he was the centerpiece of the deal between the Clippers and Thunder in 2019, struggled with just 19 points on 6-of-16 from the field. A top-five MVP candidate this season, SGA faced tough defense all game long from All-NBA defenders George and Kawhi Leonard, who hounded him on drives to the rim and the perimeter.
Leonard added 16 points for the Clippers, while James Harden and Mason Plumlee combined for 30. Plumlee will take on a bigger role, as the Clippers will be without starting center Ivica Zubac in the coming weeks due to injury.
For the Thunder, Jalen Williams continued his stellar season with 25 points on an ultra-efficient 10-of-14 from the field, 7 assists and 3 rebounds. Meanwhile, Dort had 19 points with 5 made threes.
The win allowed the Clippers (26-14) to inch closer to the Thunder (27-13) in the West, as the two teams are now separated by just a game.