The Clippers’ lineup of Nicolas Batum, Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Marcus Morris Sr. and Reggie Jackson outscored the Suns by 18 points in 13 minutes on court together in Game 5.
Game 6: Suns at Clippers
• Paul George had a historic performance (, 15-20 FG, 3-6 3-point FG, 8-8 FT) in LA’s Game 5 win, becoming the first player in NBA history to record 40+ points on in a playoff game. He scored nearly half (48.8%) of those points in the paint, including (an extremely efficient drive ratio). For reference, George typically only scores with . De’Aaron Fox, who led the league in points off of drives during the regular season, only averaged and Trae Young typically scores 10.5 ppg off of 20.1 drives.
• George, who has logged in this year’s playoffs, has scored at least he’s played in this postseason. The only other players in NBA history to score at least 20 in their first 18 games of a single playoffs are Michael Jordan (, , ), Kobe Bryant () and Kevin Durant (, ). Each of those players went on to make The Finals that same postseason.
• Clippers coach Tyronn Lue — who improved to 10-2 in elimination games with LA’s Game 5 win — has been praised throughout the postseason for his game-to-game and in-game adjustments. The has been the Clippers’ best quarter in this series as LA has in the first five games after the halftime break. The Clippers are now 10-2 in Games 3-7 in the playoffs this season, compared to 0-6 in Games 1-2.
|Stats||Games 1-2||Games 3-7|
• The Suns get a second chance to close out the series and advance to The Finals for the first time since 1993. With he Game 5 loss, the Suns are now 2-1 in close-out games this postseason, with on 50.7%-58.3%-90.3% shooting splits, 8.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 43.7 minutes per game. Booker’s 112 total points through three close-out games is the sixth-most ever by a player through the first three close-out chances in a single postseason, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The only players with more points than Booker are Jordan (4x, most recently in 1992) as well as Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor (both in 1962).
• In Game 5, the Clippers got 60 combined points from Reggie Jackson (23), Marcus Morris Sr. (22) and DeMarcus Cousins (15). Jackson has been a to George in this series without Kawhi Leonard. Morris, who has been limited due to a sore knee, had scored of the series. Cousins had scored in the series before going for 15 points in 11 minutes in Game 5 with Ivica Zubac out. Morris was also the primary defender on Deandre Ayton for a team-high 5:04 (43.7% of Ayton’s matchup time) and held Ayton to four points. Ayton finished with 10 points (his ) and 11 rebounds (half of his total from a dominant Game 4). The Suns entered Game 5 with a (winning by an average of 14.5 ppg); the Clippers outscored the Suns 58-32 in the paint in Game 5.