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Clippers vs. Timberwolves preview: Can Paul George stay on fire?

Paul George and the Clippers seek to build from their last-minute clutch win.

Oklahoma City Thunder v LA Clippers Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

Put your best defender on him. Put two defenders on him. Why not try putting three? Whatever you do, it doesn’t look like Paul George can be stopped: in the last two games, the seven-time NBA All-Star averaged 37 points, shot over 50 percent from the field and close to 65 percent from beyond the arc.

Just six games into the season, the Palmdale native has already proven that he can be an exceptional first option for his hometown team. Under the highest usage rate of his 11-year career at 32.9 percent, he has done just as well, if not better, than the league’s best (the likes of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant): he is not only averaging a career-high 28.3 points but also doing so posting a career-high in field-goal percentage at 49.2 percent. In his most recent matchup against his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, he was the motor behind the Clippers’ exhilarating last-minute comeback at Staples Center.

In the final two minutes of regulation, he narrowed what seemed like the Thunder’s comfortable nine-point lead into six with a quick 3-pointer from the top of the key. He boxed out for a quick board, then converted on another 3-point attempt. George then denied a cutting Mike Muscala at the rim and beat the Thunder down the court for a kick-out pass to an open Luke Kennard, who drained the game-tying triple. He capped his sequence with a mid-range jumper, a steal, and a rebound.

Coming off what might be one of his best final two minutes of a game in his career, George will look to, once again, put on a show for the 213 — and also make an early case for his MVPG campaign. George is second in points per game behind sharp-shooting Stephen Curry and leads the league in steals with 3.3 per contest. He can use some help, though: the team is 27th in offensive rating, and their newest and most exciting acquisition, Eric Bledsoe has been struggling to find rhythm in Clipper colors. He is averaging 9.2 points (the lowest total since he last played in Los Angeles) off an abysmal 35.7 percent shooting.

The poor play of Bledsoe is especially hard to ignore as the Clippers face off against Patrick Beverley, who has helped the Minnesota Timberwolves get off to a 3-3 start. The Clippers will seek their third and fourth wins of the season in a two-game series at Minneapolis.


Game Information

When: Wednesday, November 3 at 5 p.m. PT

Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

How to watch/listen: Bally Sports SoCal, AM 570 ESPN

Opposing perspective: Canis Hoopus

Projected Starting Lineups

Clippers: Eric Bledsoe, Reggie Jackson, Paul George, Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac

Timberwolves: Patrick Beverley, Anthony Edwards, Jarred Vanderbilt, Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns

Injuries/Absences

Clippers: Keon Johnson, Brandon Boston Jr., Marcus Morris Sr., Serge Ibaka, Kawhi Leonard, Jason Preston — OUT

Timberwolves: Patrick Beverley — QUESTIONABLE; D’Angelo Russell — OUT