Paul George was beyond incredible last night. His second half is the stuff of legends, the sort of game you tell your children about. George willed his team to victory at both ends of the court, something we haven’t seen since a man wearing a #31 jersey was suiting up for the Pacers.
21 points in the fourth alone. 31 of his 37 points came in the second half of the game. George was 8-for-10 in the fourth, while also coming away with three steals.
George scored more points in the fourth quarter last night than any other quarter in his career. It was the best fourth quarter performance in an elimination game in playoff history.
“I just felt it. I felt in rhythm. I had to be aggressive,” George said. “I tried to come out and be aggressive to start this game off, and I was getting looks. I got hot.”
His overall stat line is very impressive. George was 15-for-28 from the field, including 5-of-14 from the three point line. He also had six rebounds, a pair of assists, and six steals all while turning the ball over just three times.
George saved the Pacers season for at least one more game. It would have been extremely disheartening to watch this team fall apart and be eliminated on their home court.
Oh, and George is just 24 years old. Fans should be happy he signed that five year contract extension.
If there is one complaint about George’s performance in the second half, it would be the missed free throw in the final minute. That, coupled with David West‘s miss made this game closer than it needed to be and gave Miami a chance to win it. George could stand to attack the paint a bit more as well since he only had three free throw attempts.
That is one minor issue, but it didn’t end up costing the Pacers the game. George took a big step last night towards superstar status and if the Pacers are going come back to Indiana for another game, he’ll need to remain at this level of play.
Win or lose this series, George is going to be the focal point for the Pacers for years to come. He truly is the best player to suit up for this team since Reggie Miller.