All the praise was being heaped on Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari for their offensive exploits, but in the middle of all those compliments, Clippers coach Doc Rivers quickly pivoted toward the meaningful play of Patrick Beverley.
Thirty-seven seconds into his postgame soliloquy about how Williams and Gallinari provided the offensive impetus for the Clippers, Rivers saluted Beverley for his unwavering spirit.
“The most interesting stat on this whole thing to me is Gallo had 34 [points] and Lou had 40 and Pat Beverley had zero points and he was a plus-22,” Rivers said late Friday night after a 118-110 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center. “I thought he had the biggest impact on the game and I thought he guarded Paul George as well as you can guard him. He had seven rebounds. He just did so many things for us that it allows us to win games.”
Beverley is quick to point out that his job is to be a menace on defense, to be a pesky force and to be an agitator.
In that regard, the 6-foot-1 Beverley would not back down to the 6-9 and multi-skilled George, whom the Clippers point guard hounded all over the court until George fouled out with 3 minutes 49 seconds left on an offensive foul against Beverley.
“He was huge for us tonight,” Williams said. “The things that he did on the defensive end and just how he approached the game was huge for us. I think early on, with that first group, he was the guy that kind of got them going and got us off to an early start with the other things they were doing.”