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Paul George Says He Liked 'Playoff P' Taunt from Jazz Fans: 'It's All Respect'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 9, 2021

Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George said he wasn't bothered by the "Playoff P" and "overrated" chants by Utah Jazz fans during Tuesday's 112-109 Game 1 loss in the teams' Western Conference Semifinals.

George, who made just four of 17 shots from the field, said taunts on the road come with the territory.

"I like it. That part doesn't get to me. It's all respect. I've had good games here and I've had bad games here," he told reporters. "That's part of this game, to be honest. Crowd's going to be involved. You want that. As an opposing player, you kind of want that."

The seven-time All-Star finished the contest with 20 points, 10 rebounds and two assists. A more efficient offensive performance from him and fellow forward Marcus Morris Sr., who went 4-of-14 from the field, could have pushed the Clippers into the win column in Game 1.

Instead, L.A. will be forced to play from behind for the second straight series. It trailed the Dallas Mavericks 2-0 and 3-2 in the first round before winning the final two games to advance.

George said he felt "indecisive" with his approach offensively as Jazz center Rudy Gobert set up shop in the paint, and it's something he must improve:

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"The big fella is really good at just clogging the paint up and just sitting at the rim. And a lot of plays I was just forcing myself trying to get to the basket where he's there waiting for me. So I think just being decisive on approach of setting up, getting the shots that I want while he's in those coverages."

Los Angeles must also do a better job of defending leads. It carried a 60-47 advantage into halftime but watched it evaporate as Utah won the third quarter by a 32-19 margin to get the score level.

The 31-year-old Fresno State product added the Clippers have to match the Jazz's physical play.

"It's playoff basketball," George said. "The physicality just has to be allowed on both ends, and I'll leave it at that."

L.A. has one more chance to wrestle home-court advantage away from the top-seeded Jazz before the series shifts to Staples Center for Games 3 and 4.

Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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