Heading into the second-round playoff series between the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers, one of the more fun storylines was the beef between Jazz forward Joe Ingles and Clippers forward Paul George dating back to a playoff series in 2018 when George was with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On Saturday night in Game 3 of this year’s series, a 132-106 win for LA, George broke out to score 31 points on 12 of 24 shooting. That came after he had gone just 12 of 35 for 47 points in the first two games combined — much to the delight of Utah fans at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City — both of which were Jazz wins.
In George’s postgame press conference on Saturday in Los Angeles, a reporter observed that George and Ingles have continued to talk to each other a lot during this series (although there haven’t been any real notable incidents between the two).
The reporter then asked, “What’s your relationship with (Ingles) like now three years removed from the series when you were with the Thunder? Are you guys good, or what’s your relationship with him —”
Before the reporter quite finished, George interjected to say, “I don’t care about him. Next question.”
According to NBA player tracking data, Ingles has been the primary defender on George during the first three games of the series (although the Jazz have put a bunch of different players on him for significant stretches), and George has scored 13 of his 78 series points during that time.
Asked by another reporter what changed between the first two games and Game 3, George said, “I just shot my shots. Looked to get to the shots I’m most comfortable with and stuck with it.”
Ingles was asked essentially the same question and said, “The biggest difference was he made some shots. He’s had looks in other games, I think, and missed a couple.”