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Clippers star Paul George calls out officiating after zero free throw game vs. Steph Curry, Warriors

Clippers, Paul George, Warriors, Clippers Warriors, Clippers opening night

The Los Angeles Clippers nearly left Chase Center with a win against the Golden State Warriors, but ultimately fell short by a score of 115-113 on Thursday night. Paul George and Steph Curry had their back-and-forth moments throughout the game with Curry’s team ultimately coming out on top.

George poured in 29 points to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists on 52 percent shooting. Curry had himself a big night, going for 45 points and 10 rebounds on 64 percent shooting. The thing that sticks out the most after watching the game and looking at the boxscore? The free throw disparity when it comes to Paul George.

George finished with zero free throw attempts on the night despite making a concerted effort to attack the paint, collapse the defense, and create for his teammates. He finished shooting 5-of-7 around the rim, and had countless drives where he took contact from one or two guys. He did, however, pick up a technical foul for yelling, ‘and-1!‘ at referee Zach Zarba late in the second quarter. A handful of replays via the NBA on TNT broadcast did show some contact that went uncalled at the Clippers’ expense.

When asked by a reporter what he could do differently to create more contact which would subsequently lead to more free throw attempts, George was a bit baffled.

“Draymond got nine of them, so honestly, I don’t know what he did that I wasn’t doing,” Paul George admitted after the Clippers loss. “I drove the ball more than he did to the paint, took more contact than him going to the paint. I don’t know how he gets awarded with nine of them. It’s just crazy, like, you get T’d up, I’m getting hit in the face, I’m getting smacked in the face. I shot a three, I get smacked on the elbow. That is just crazy to me, but it’s nothing new. I just gotta do a better job of staying within the game. It is what it is. They gonna do what they do.”

This isn’t the first time George called out the officials. The seven-time NBA All-Star struggled with a lack of whistles throughout the Clippers’ 2020-21 season as well, going through stretches where he’d hardly get to the line. On two separate occasions, George called out officials.

In a game against the Brooklyn Nets, Paul George took 10 shots at the rim, 13 in the painted area in total and finished with just one free throw attempt. Meanwhile, James Harden took eight and Kevin Durant took five.

In a game against Dallas a month later, George said his conversations with officials were, ‘just a bunch of lies.’

It’s unclear at this point what about Paul George’s game prevents him from getting a lot of foul calls, but it certainly has been a trend. Some have said that George should flop more often to try and sell more contact, but that’s just not in his nature. Others have mentioned his smooth game doesn’t help in drawing contact when compared to the speedy and athletic stars of today’s NBA.

Whatever the case may be, Paul George is going to be heavily relied upon this season as the Clippers try to stay afloat in the competitive Western Conference. If and when Kawhi Leonard is able to come back, it’ll be with the hopes that the Clippers are in the hunt for home-court advantage in the first round.