Paul George is back playing NBA basketball for the first time in 2019, and he hasn’t missed a beat.
George screamed, “I’m back!” after completing a three-point play during the third quarter of the Clippers’ Saturday night demolition of the Atlanta Hawks, and he certainly is. In his second game as a member of the L.A. Clippers, George scored 37 points in just 20 minutes of playing time – per ESPN the most in NBA history while playing less than 21 minutes – and led the Clippers to their largest margin of victory (49 points) in franchise history.
He has looked and sounded like exactly the same player who was a contender in the MVP race for Oklahoma City last season, in two games scoring a ridiculous 70 points in just 44 minutes while hitting 20/34 shots in total and nine of his 16 three-point attempts.
After hitting his sixth three pointer at the start of the fourth quarter against the Hawks, George could only shrug his shoulders in amusement, emulating the great Michael Jordan.
George has already set franchise records for a player making his Clippers debut, and most points by a player in his first two games as a Clipper.
George was not the only Clipper to catch fire in Saturday’s 150-101 rout in Atlanta, with the team as a whole shooting 51.5% on 33 three-point attempts despite the absence of Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley and Landry Shamet.
The Clippers face George’s old team – the Oklahoma City Thunder – on Monday. They are hoping to regain Leonard for what should be a highly entertaining game.