Clippers may have lost Game 2, but Beverley did his part

Published June 24, 2021, 3:55 PMRenee Ticzon

Stats don’t tell the entire story. Patrick Beverley’s efforts in Game 2 is proof of that.

Patrick Beverley finished with six points, four rebounds, and one assist on Wednesday. He shot 2-of-5 from the field and had a plus-minus of -1. He did not lead the Los Angeles Clippers in anything statistically. He wasn’t the top rebounder, he didn’t have an insane amount of blocks, and he didn’t have any steals.

Beverley did not have any significant statistics whatsoever, but he arguably made a huge impact in the Clippers’ Game 2 loss against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals.

Beverley is a role player. He isn’t expected to score like Kawhi Leonard or facilitate like Paul George. He’s there to make stops, pester opposing players, and be a nuisance on the floor. All of which, he did perfectly.

The timing of Beverley’s impact in Game 2 was impressive. He made a total of two shots, both of which were from beyond the arc. His first 3-pointer, which came in the second quarter with 2:43 remaining, cut the Clippers’ deficit to just three points.

He made another triple in the fourth with 5:39 left in the game, which trimmed the lead down to three, the Suns up 93-90. Both these shots Beverley made broke the Suns’ momentum and cut the lead to one possession.

As one of the Clippers’ best defenders, one of Beverley’s best attributes is to pester the opposing team’s best scorers and make life difficult for them. At the end of the third quarter in Game 2, he had more personal fouls than points, which gives a picture of how hard he was going at it. He also had a hand in limiting Devin Booker, who only had one field goal in the fourth period. 

In the closing moments of the game, Booker drove right but had the ball tapped out by Beverley. Upon review, the officials saw that Booker touched the ball last, giving the possession to the Clippers, who had a one-point lead, with 9.3 seconds left.

Unfortunately for the Clippers, George missed two free throws. But Beverley’s contribution by forcing a turnover would have been the deciding moment had the Clippers ended up winning Game 2.

"I've played a lot of games in this league. This was a hard game to swallow because you look at this game... We got this game won,” Beverley said after the game.

However, knowing the Clippers and their history with playoff comebacks, it shouldn’t be surprising if they just flip the switch and start barrelling their way back into the series. In these playoffs, the Clippers have bounced back from a 0-2 deficit twice.

“But we've been in the trenches before, we respond well in the trenches, and we'll respond well. We always do," said Beverley.

A return may be imminent especially with the team’s renewed confidence and sense of urgency. The combination of a close loss against a rested Suns and several good plays down the stretch may just be the tipping point to get these Clippers back on the board.

And if they succeed, part of it will be because of Beverley’s contribution, even if his stats don’t say so.