Paul George and the Clippers again played their best when they needed it most

  • Senior writer for ESPN.com
  • Spent seven years at the Los Angeles Daily News

At this point, we should’ve seen this coming. Seriously. How many times during this postseason have the LA Clippers played their best basketball when you believed in them the least?

Only they know why it takes adversity — Kawhi Leonard’s injury or the threat of elimination or humiliation — to bring out the best version of a team that’s been cast as a championship contender for the past two seasons.

Heck, maybe they don’t even know themselves.

But for the third consecutive series, against the longest odds they’ve faced thus far, the Clippers summoned an incredible performance Monday night to beat the Phoenix Suns 116-102 on the road and deny the 16,664 fans who’ve been waiting 28 years to celebrate a return to the NBA Finals.

The Suns lead the series 3-2.

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