Playoffs 2021

NBA Playoffs 2021: Paul George rises to the ocassion, leads Kawhi-less Clippers to pivotal Game 5 road win

#PG
(NBA Getty Images)

The LA Clippers have done the unthinkable. Without All-NBA First Teamer Kawhi Leonard, they went into Salt Lake City and stunned the top-seeded Jazz 119-111 in a pivotal Game 5.

This is LA's third straight victory and now puts them within one win of advancing to the franchise's first-ever Conference Finals. Another win would also make the franchise the first-ever team to overcome multiple 2-0 series deficits in the same postseason.

Paul George, with 37 points, led a balanced Clippers offence that had four players finishing with at least 12 points. For the Jazz, who tied a playoff franchise-record 20 3-pointers, six scored in double figures led by Bojan Bogdanovic's 32 points but it wasn't enough.

Here's a look at the biggest talking points from Game 5:

Paul George leads by example in Kawhi's absence

George stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 37 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and two blocks on 12-of-22 shooting from the field.

By far, his best game of the 2021 postseason, George also became the first player in franchise history to score at least 20 in 12 consecutive games.

He received help from the duo of Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr., who combined for 46 points on 18-of-31 shooting from the field. Young gun Terrence Mann was huge as well, scoring 13 points along with two assists and two steals in 26 minutes of action.

Mann might have the highlight of the game to his name:

Meanwhile, Donovan Mitchell had his first real off-game of the playoffs. Coming off six straight games with at least 30, he struggled in this one and only scored 21 on 6-of-19 shooting from the field.

Difference-making third quarter

Although the Jazz led by as many as 10 and for a majority of the first half, the Clippers never let it get away from them. Trailing by five (65-60) at halftime, the visitors flipped the game early in the third quarter.

They went on a 16-5 run to start the second half and eventually outscored the Jazz 32-18 in the period. The duo of George and Mann combined for 15 of the team's tally.

Bojan, Jazz make history early but cool-off

The first quarter was all offence as both teams scored a combined 73 points.

Bojan Bogdanovic was the spark for the Jazz, becoming the fifth player ever to knock down the NBA record of six 3-pointers in a quarter.

For the Clippers, Paul George and Marcus Morris Sr. combined for 20 of the team's 36 in the first period but the Jazz poured it on in the second period.

In the second quarter, the hosts added seven more 3-pointers to their 10 from the first for the second-most in a half in NBA playoff history.

The Jazz, however, couldn't keep this hot shooting. On 3-pointers, they went from 10-of-15 in the first quarter to 7-of-15 in the second quarter and then finally, went 3-of-24 in the second half.

Much like his team, Bojan scored 25 in the first half on 8-of-14 shooting but only managed seven in the second half.

What's next?

It's now a 'win-or-go-home' for the Jazz as the series shifts back to Los Angeles with Game 6 scheduled for Friday, June 18 at 10:00 p.m ET.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

#NBAAcademy
NBA Academy virtually developing Next Gen
Carlan Gay
usa-latvia-3x3-goldmedalists
U.S. Women, Latvian Men win first-ever 3x3 gold
NBA.com Staff
#Mills #Lillard
Results, top performers from Day 4
NBA.com Staff
olympic-basketball-gettyimages
How are Olympic basketball tiebreakers determined?
NBA.com Staff
#USA
USA bounces back with 54-point win over Iran
Benyam Kidane
play-in-stanchion-nbae-gettyimages
Key dates finalized for 2021-22 season
Official Release
More News