Ahead of their Wednesday night road tilt with the T-Wolves, the LA Clippers had only good things to say about Patrick Beverley. While the hard-nosed point guard hasn’t always been the most lovable guy on the hardwood, there was no shortage of affection for him among his former teammates and coaches.
“I love Pat Bev,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said after the contest, via SI’s All Clippers. “He reminds me a lot of myself. I’ll always love that guy. He’ll always have a special place in my heart. It was hard having him on the other side.”
Beverley may have that “special place” secured, but the Clippers sure didn’t make life easy on him when the two sides were reunited at the Target Center. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Led by Paul George, who had yet another huge night for the crew, the Clippers beat the Timberwolves 126-115 to draw one game closer to .500 at 3-4. It was their most complete offensive performance of the young season.
PG-13 Keys Offensive Outburst
In the immediate aftermath of the contest, Beverley couldn’t help but marvel at what his former team had accomplished offensively. “They shot the s*** out of the ball, obviously,” he declared. “They’ve been struggling all season. So they were due for a good game. Obviously, today was a good one.”
Correct on all counts.
George led the way with 32 points which, in and of itself, isn’t exactly a headline-grabber. However, the fact that he did so while making 11-of-18 shots from the floor and nailing four three-pointers served as another shining example of his MVP-level effort this season.
More important than the fact that George went off, though, is the fact that he wasn’t the only one for a change. On the whole, Los Angeles had one of the best shooting nights the league has seen this season. The Clippers connected on 60.3% of their shots, including an impressive 21-of-36 (58.3%) from deep.
Reggie Jackson equaled George’s 11-for-18 night, hitting seven threes and scoring 29 points of his own. Meanwhile, Nicolas Batum added 20 points on 7-of-10 from the floor. For his part, Beverley actually acquitted himself fairly well for the Wolves. In 31 minutes of play, the former Clipper put up 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
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Mann Speaks Out on George’s Leadership
The fact that George has been something of a one-man show at times this season hasn’t been lost on his teammates. For his part, Terance Mann has been wowed by what the seven-time All-Star has been able to accomplish.
“PG is having a hell of a season so far,” Mann said. “You know, he’s doing a great job of leading us on both ends of the floor. Today he had a possession where he had a strip, got on the ground, got back up, took a charge. Like, that’s inspiring for all of us. When you see your best player doing that it just makes you play harder.”
Mann went on to credit George for setting a tone in the win over Minnesota.