Paul George Says Clippers 'One of the Greatest Locker Rooms I've Been a Part Of'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 1, 2021

Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals, Monday, June 28, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
AP Photo/Matt York

Paul George praised his teammates after the Los Angeles Clippers fell to the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday and were eliminated from the playoffs.

According to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk, George said: "We fought all year. Very proud of my guys of what we had to overcome. We found a way to fight through [the injuries] … one of the greatest locker rooms I've been a part of."

The Clippers showed great resilience throughout the playoffs, overcoming 2-0 series deficits in both the first and second rounds, but they fell 130-103 to the Suns on Wednesday in a season-ending loss.

Losing Kawhi Leonard to a knee injury could have proved fatal versus the Utah Jazz.

He appeared in all seven games during the Clippers' first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks and in the first four games of the second-round series against the Jazz before being sidelined.

As expected, he was performing at an elite level, averaging 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game during the postseason.

Despite the loss of their best player, George and the Clippers closed out the top-seeded Jazz, winning both Games 5 and 6 to send Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert home.

In addition to George, some less heralded players raised their level of play.

Reggie Jackson realized much of the potential he showed earlier in his career, Marcus Morris established himself as a key contributor, and Terance Mann showed off his scoring prowess, including a 39-point outburst in L.A.'s series-clinching win against Utah.

The Clippers fell into 2-0 series holes in both the first and second rounds, but head coach Ty Lue made the necessary adjustments and got them back on track.

However, Los Angeles wasn't able to come back from the 2-0 series deficit against Phoenix, as Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton proved too much to handle.

Last season, the Clippers' campaign ended in pure disappointment, as they blew a 3-1 series lead against the Denver Nuggets in the second round. It was still a disappointing end to their 2020-21 season since the Clippers may have gone the distance with a healthy Leonard, but they showed fight and should be able to build on that for nest season.