For the past three games of the Los Angeles Clippers' playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks, "Playoff P" has been held in check.
All-Star guard Paul George had 27 points in the Clippers' 118-110 win over the Mavericks in Game 1 of their first round match-up. Since then, he's been in a brutal slump, scoring 34 points in the next three games combined.
From Games 2 to 4 of the series, George has made just 10 field goals, and gone a paltry four-of-25 from beyond the arc. It's a stunning drop in efficiency for the guard, who shot 41.2% from three-point range in the regular season.
"It's just tough for me right now," George said, according to an ESPN report. "It's hard to say because I am getting the looks, the shots, the floor is open, and the defenders aren't great."
"But I'm just having a hard time finding the ball through right now," he added.
In Game 4 of the series, George had just nine points, going three-of-14 from the field and making just one of seven attempts from three. The Clippers lost in overtime after Dallas point guard Luka Doncic nailed a triple at the buzzer for a 135-133 result.
But Kawhi Leonard is not losing faith in his co-star.
"Just tell him to keep going," Leonard said of George, who averaged 21.5 points per game in the regular season.
"His time is coming," Leonard also said. "He had some easy looks tonight. Everybody did, but it's not his fault."
"We were up big in the second quarter and I think everybody has a part in winning the basketball game."
Leonard had 32 points and nine rebounds, but the Clippers squandered a big lead in the second quarter and allowed Doncic to steer the Mavericks back in the game. The series is now tied at two games apiece.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers is also optimistic that George will break out of his slump at some point.
"Paul, again, I still believe this, he's going to be fine," said Rivers. "He just has to be more aggressive, aggressive in the right way."
"And I think it will work out for him. We do run plays for them. We do all the other stuff. But we have to get him more involved and that's just really running our stuff the way we should run it," he added.
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