George: Late free throws were 'an opportunity that was missed'

Michael Gonzales / National Basketball Association / Getty

Paul George had a chance to extend the Los Angeles Clippers' lead on the Phoenix Suns to three points with 8.2 seconds remaining but misfired on both of his free-throw attempts.

It was a shocking turn of events as George entered Game 2 shooting 89.2% from the charity stripe. His miscue set the stage for Deandre Ayton's dramatic game-winning dunk.

"I'm not going to put too much on that," George told reporters after the Clippers' 104-103 loss, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "Obviously it was an opportunity that was missed. Pat (Beverley) made an unbelievable play that put me in position to extend the lead. I'm always confident at the free-throw line. I've always been very successful in clutch moments at the free-throw line."

George bounced back from a subpar first half, finishing with a team-high 26 points, six boards, and six assists in 41 minutes of action. Aside from the missed free throws, the seven-time All-Star had a strong fourth quarter, posting 10 points, two boards, and two assists.

Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue came to George's defense following Tuesday's contest.

"He's all right," Lue said. "It's part of the game. It happens. It's not his fault. Without him we wouldn't be in the game anyway. Made some big plays down the down the stretch and they made a big play at the end to win the game."

Los Angeles heads home down 2-0 for the third consecutive playoff series. They are the only team in NBA history to come back from multiple 2-0 deficits in the same postseason.

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George: Late free throws were 'an opportunity that was missed'
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