Clippers' Paul George Credits 'Perspective' on Toe Injury for Recent Hot Streak

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 14, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - APRIL 13:   Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers dribbles the ball against the  Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 13, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.    NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
 (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George said he altered his mindset concerning his toe injury, and it's helped him get his 2020-21 season back on track.

"The injury allowed me to kind of make an excuse for myself," George told reporters after Tuesday's 126-115 win over the Indiana Pacers. "But then I put it in perspective ... if I'm gonna play, then don't let it limit me. I feel like I've had a breakthrough because of that mindset."

George was terrific to lead the Clippers past the Pacers, tallying a game-high 36 points along with eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals in 38 minutes. His strong play was necessary with Kawhi Leonard sidelined for the contest by right foot soreness.

The seven-time All-Star had endured a noticeable drop off in play in March while battling the toe injury, averaging a season-low in points (20.1) and shooting just 40.7 percent from the field, more than eight percentage points worse than any other month this season.

George has bounced back strong to open the April schedule, putting up 26.8 points per game and knocking down 50.5 percent of his shots.

"He's definitely in a groove," teammate Marcus Morris Sr. said. "He's playing with a chip on his shoulder. He is making an emphasis of really taking over and being the best version of himself."

L.A. is riding a six-game winning streak and sits third in the Western Conference with a 38-18 record. Once the Clips clinch a playoff spot inside the top six to avoid the play-in tournament, they'll likely give George some additional games off to rest the toe.

The 6'8'' Fresno State product said his treatment has been helping, but he hopes the toe is eventually a nonissue.

"It hasn't been flaring up, so that's been working," George said. "And hopefully, at some point, it just goes away and it's an afterthought, nothing I'm worried about going forward."

The Clippers are right back in action Wednesday night when they visit Little Caesars Arena to take on the Detroit Pistons (16-38).