Player of the Night: Paul George

If you haven’t heard, we’re starting a new regular feature here at Saving the Skyhook called “Player of the Night.” We’ll bring you a quick recap of the most impressive individual performance from the night’s FANtastic NBA action.

Tonight was an incredible night across the Association. There were only five games, none of which – except for Portland vs. Indiana – showed much promise. But as is often the case, we get the most me morale experiences when we are least expecting them.

Chicago and New Orleans – each missing their best player – slogged through three overtimes; the Pelicans eventually pulling it out. Tim Duncan knocked down a game winner to beat the pesky Hawks. The Jazz surprised everyone, defeating the Rockets behind a very strong game from Chandler Parsons. Then last but not least, the Pacers and Blazers gave us the game we expected, with the Blazers holding on for a big home win.

With all those great games came a multitude of brilliant individual performances. In the end, however, it was Paul George who stood out as the Player of the Night.

Dec 2, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George (24) hits a shot during the fourth quarter of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. George scored 43 points but the Blazers won the game 106-102. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Pacers fell to the Blazers (only their second loss of the season), George made sure it wasn’t on account of his performance.

The reigning Most Improved Player continued to stake his claim to being the early season MVP with a 43 point, 3 rebound, 3 assist, 3 steal performance. The 43 points – on 16-30 shooting – were a career high for the budding superstar.

Even more impressive, was that 15 of those points – on five three-pointers – came in the last three minutes of the game. They were also the Pacers last 15 points. George singlehandedly kept the Pacers in the game as the Blazers were trying to pull away late in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately for the Pacers, they needed a few more triples from their leader in order to pull out a victory.

It was only the second loss of the year for Indiana, who still hold the league’s best record at 16-2. Things don’t get any easier for George or the Pacers, however, as they look to start another win streak. After a match-up with the Jazz on Wednesday, the Pacers play at San Antonio, at Oklahoma City and at home versus Miami.

They’ll need George to keep up his brilliant play in order to grab a few wins against the league’s top competition.