There were plenty of fireworks during the Los Angeles Clippers' 112-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, and Paul George and Devin Booker even had to be separated following a verbal exchange in the fourth quarter.
Both players received technical fouls for the incident.
Duane Rankin of AZ Central noted George said, "you got to ask them," while Booker added "it's nothing, honestly," when asked what happened.
Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN shared more of George's words in which the Clippers star seemed to suggest opponents are more comfortable talking trash to him this season after he struggled in last year's playoffs:
"I don't talk, I play my game...It's dudes talking. Never heard people talking [before], it's never been directed towards me but for some reason it's a lot of mouth. It's fine...I'll go through the fire...As long as we win.
"I was talking to the ref, CP [Chris Paul] jumped in, it escalated. I've never had any words, never any altercation, there was always peace when I am on the floor but for whatever reason, there's a lot of chirping and people living in the past...I'm in a new situation, different mindset."
George went 4-of-16 from the field and 2-of-11 from three-point range during the Clippers' Game 7 loss to the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the playoffs last season. L.A. blew a 3-1 lead and missed out on an opportunity to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
Perhaps opponents haven't hesitated to bring that up with George, but he was excellent Sunday with 39 points, four assists, three rebounds, two steals and one block as the best player on the floor for extended stretches.
Booker (25 points, eight assists and five rebounds) and Paul (15 points, nine rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block) also played well, but the Suns fell to 5-2.
That is the Clippers' record as well, as both teams could face each other in the Western Conference playoffs.
Now there will be an extra storyline if they do.