Paul George made his Los Angeles Clippers debut on Thursday night, following a pair of shoulder surgeries that caused him to miss the team’s first 11 games.
Some rust was to be expected in his first live game action since April, but George was an efficient 10-of-17 from the field for a team-high 33 points in his 24 minutes on the court. He also added nine rebounds and four assists with five turnovers in the 132-127 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE Getty Images
As a whole, George thought his performance was terrible, but mentioned that it’s the best his shoulders have felt “in a really long time.”
“I thought I was terrible,” said George, per ESPN.
“A lot of breakdowns happened because of my lack of being out there with those guys,” George continued. “I’m here to win games and I didn’t get a win. … We had a chance to win tonight and a couple bad possessions in a row that we have down the stretch and we lose. That’s what I gauge good games and bad games on.”
“That’s the best my shoulders have felt in a really long time, so I knew coming into tonight shooting wouldn’t be a problem,” he added. “Just playing basketball is what I’m lacking right now.”
The Clippers dropped to 7-5 on the season as a result of Thursday night’s loss but they’ll now return home for a five-game home stand starting with a matchup against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. George’s former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, will visit Staples Center on Monday night.
Check out some highlights from PG’s Clippers debut in the video embedded below.