LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Paul George finally found his way.
The All-Star guard scored 35 points and the Los Angeles Clippers rolled past the Dallas Mavericks 154-111 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round Western Conference playoff series.
George had shot 29% in the series and endured fans' wrath on social media. He said he spoke to the team psychiatrist before Game 5.
“I mean, whatever it was, the bubble got the best of me," George said. “I was just in a dark place. I really wasn’t here. I checked out. The past couple of games, it was just difficult."
George said it didn't feel like the playoffs until his teammates decided to create the atmosphere that was lacking inside the NBA's Walt Disney World bubble.
“I came in with that mindset that this is Staples, we’re at home," he said. “The place is packed. I really had to psych myself up. I thought the whole team took that and we ran with it. We created our own energy. We decided to dictate this game.”
Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points and Montrezl Harrell added 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who set a franchise record for points in a playoff game. Los Angeles can clinch the series on Thursday.
Dallas' Luka Doncic, who hit a game-winner at the buzzer in Game 4 to cap off a 43-point triple-double, was held to 22 points on 6-for-17 shooting.