With his team facing yet another 0-2 deficit, Paul George was able to find inspiration in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals by looking to the newly-filled Staples Center crowd and finding two of the most important figures in his life: his parents.
“It’s motivation,” George said during his postgame interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “Every chance I get, I take a peek at them and it makes me go harder. It makes me play hard. That’s who I do it for. My parents, my mom, my dad [are my] biggest supporters. They’re here every night. They’ve just got love for this game, love for this team, love for me. The easy part is to come out and just hoop.”
Clearly, his parents’ support was effective on Thursday night. The Clippers defeated the Phoenix Suns 106-92 behind a stellar performance from George, who scored a team-high 27 points. Though he did not shoot the ball well (9-26 from the field, 3-11 from 3), he found other ways to contribute beyond just scoring, grabbing 15 rebounds and dishing out eight assists.
George’s mother, Paulette, overcame a stroke when George was just six years old. Nichols noted in the interview that it has been hard for her to come to games as a result, and neither of George’s parents were able to attend a large chunk of the season due to the pandemic. Paulette was able to make it to the game on Thursday.
The Clippers will now get a chance to tie the series on Saturday. The team will no-doubt need as much motivation as possible to overcome this tough Phoenix team. George knows where to look for his.