Patrick Beverley has an iron will, his toughness and competitive spirit unparalleled, his ability to bring his Clippers teammates along with him for the ride never ending.
Beverley pulled his teammates along with him, his double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds a big key in why the Clippers pulled out a 129-121 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
Beverley had dared his teammates to stand up with him against the Warriors despite the Clippers entering Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round playoff series down 3-1 and elimination staring them in the face.
The Clippers forced a Game 6 Friday night at Staples Center, now down 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, all because of Beverley’s will.
Beverley was six for 13 from the field and five for 11 from three-point range.
He had four assists and one steal.
But perhaps more impressive was his playoff career high in rebounds.
“He’s tough,” Rivers said. “He has no business coming up with those rebounds at the end of the game. Like, they had the size, they had the weight, they had the strength and somehow he was pushing back. It was absolutely amazing to watch.”
Beverley also showed his defensive ware when the game hung in the balance.
Beverley tipped the ball away from Stephen Curry, and Landry Shamet got the ball with 2 minutes 14 seconds left.
Then Beverley made his biggest defensive play of the game and perhaps the series when he took a charge on Klay Thompson with 1:40 left and the Clippers holding a 123-118 lead.
“He’s a tough dude,” Rivers said. “And he showed that tonight.”
Beverley’s 11 points in the first quarter tied his career high for points any quarter in a playoff game, his last time accomplishing the feat being on April 24, 2014, in the first quarter of a game at Portland when he played for the Houston Rockets.
When Beverley set his feet and drilled a three-pointer to give the Clippers a five-point lead and a measure of momentum, it forced the Warriors to call a timeout with 4:26 left in the first half.
Beverley ran back downcourt mean-mugging all the way, the boos raining down on him from the Warriors’ crowd.
Beverley drew a charge on Draymond Green early in the third quarter with one of his shoes falling off his foot, another big defensive play by the guard.
“Pat is one of those guys that gets in there and mixes it up,” Montrezl Harrell said. “He’s one of those small guards that gets rebounds. It’s just about heart, fight and will, what we know Pat is going to bring every night. And he definitely brought it tonight.”