Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George
downplayed the team’s Game 3 road win over the Dallas Mavericks on
Friday, which trimmed the Mavs’ series lead to 2-1.
George, who scored 29 points in the
118-108 victory, told reporters the Clippers still have a lot to
prove if they’re going to advance from the first-round playoff
“We’re down 2-1. We haven’t shown
anything. 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.”
Teammate Rajon Rondo agreed with
“Obviously, backs against the
wall. 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
The Clippers were staring down a likely
insurmountable 3-0 series deficit and found themselves in an early
30-11 hole Friday before fighting back to take a two-point halftime
lead. After a back-and-forth third quarter, L.A. pulled away in the fourth to take its first game of the series.
Kawhi Leonard led the charge by making 13 of his 17 shots en route to
36 points. George added seven rebounds and four assists on top of his
“Those guys are killers,”
Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. said of Leonard and George. “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
It was an encouraging performance at
both ends of the floor for the Clippers, who’d allowed 240 points
over the first two games at home as the Mavericks took control of the
That said, the No. 4 seed in the
Western Conference is still behind the eight ball, needing to win
three of the next four games to advance.
Los Angeles can alleviate that pressure with a win in Game 4, which would
level the series at two games apiece and restore the team’s
The series resumes Sunday at 9:30
p.m. ET on TNT.