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After Paul George scored 33 points to help the Clippers take a 113-103 win over the Suns at Staples Center in a game that had a playoff feel to it, the Clippers’ All-Star guard noted for the second time this season how the Suns do a lot of “chirping.”
George added this time that he couldn’t care less about the Suns (36-15).
“We focused on us,” George said when asked about the Suns. “I don’t know what that chirp is about. We focused on us. I don’t care what they’re doing over there. I don’t care who they are or what they’re doing.
“I’m locked in. They can do the chirping, I let them have it tonight. I just stayed in my zone, stayed in my place, I don’t know. … I don’t care what they’re doing. We’re focused on us over here. We’re focused on getting better. Tonight was a fun matchup, and we appreciate the challenge.”
The Clippers (35-18) won their third straight game by knocking off the Suns for the second time this season. And there was extracurricular activity between both West contenders again.
Suns All-Star Devin Booker had a technical foul and a flagrant foul on a Kawhi Leonard drive to the basket. Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley was ejected in the fourth quarter for delivering a hard foul while trying to stop Chris Paul from taking off on a break with a forearm shiver that broke his stride. And LA’s Marcus Morris Sr. was ejected late in the game after picking up his second technical foul in under three minutes.
“I don’t have any concerns,” Clippers coach Ty Lue said of the contentiousness between both teams on Thursday. “I love it. When you are competing at a high level against one of the best teams in the league, do what you go to do to win. And I thought our guys were physical. We competed, we fought.”
“There are going to be games like this where it is going to be chippy,” Lue added. “They are fighting for something, we are fighting for something, so it is going to happen and I am OK with it.”
New Clipper Rajon Rondo said the Suns started the back and forth. The veteran had his best game with his new team with 15 points and nine assists.
“I love to chat a little bit, and they pretty much started it in the first half,” Rondo said. “So other than that I was just trying to play the game, but sometimes it involves a little bit of chatter.”
During the Clippers’ 112-107 win in Phoenix on Jan. 3 in the first meeting of the season between both teams, George had 39 points but also exchanged words with Booker and Paul, leading to fourth-quarter technical fouls between Booker and George.
After that game, George said the Suns were talking trash to him.
“For whatever reason, there’s a lot of chirping,” George said after that game. “And people just living in the past.”