Paul George had an outstanding Game 5 in the Los Angeles Clippers' 119-111 win at the Utah Jazz with Kawhi Leonard out with a knee injury.
"I've been in Indiana, where I had to lead a franchise," George said of having to lead without Leonard. "The beauty here is I get to do that with one of the best in the world in Kawhi. Now Kawhi is down. It was just that mindset being back in Indy, having to set the tone and come out and lead a ballclub.
"That's really the mindset I came out with. It was nothing that I had to prove. It was nothing that I had to be surprised about myself. I just dug into a place that I've been already in my career, and it just came down to trust. Everybody just allowed me to lead and they kept pushing me. They just kept me into a great mental space."
George hit nine of his first 14 shots and scored 22 points in the first half.
"Have a lot of respect for PG," Tyronn Lue said of George, who played 40 minutes. "Like you can't judge a guy's career off what they do off one series. Like I know a lot of great players that have bad series or a bad game or a bad two games in a series, but whenever he has a bad game, they want to make a big deal of it. It's whatever. You know, just keep playing. Keep being who you are, and at the end of the day, you know, you can live with the results."