Paul George excelling at the foul line, shooting 95 percent

George looks to lead the Pacers back to the second round of the playoffs.

George looks to lead the Pacers back to the second round of the playoffs.

Pacers star Paul George has clearly been the best player in their first-round series against the Toronto Raptors. And it’s not even close.

Through six games, he’s averaging 27.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assisters per game. He’s been the top scorer in five of the six games. (George Hill and Ian Mahinmi each scored 22, three more points than him, in their Game 4 win.)

[Pacers Podcast: Ep. 20 with ESPN.com’s Mike Mazzeo]

Even more, he’s playing terrific two-way basketball — something that he takes great pride in. DeMar DeRozan, a two-time NBA All-Star and the Raptors’ top scorer in the regular season (23.5ppg), is being kept to 15.8 points per game in this matchup.

Better yet, George, who turns 26 on Monday, has quietly excelled at the free throw line.

George is averaging a series-best 27.6 points per game. [Frank McGrath/PS&E]

George is averaging a series-best 27.6 points per game. [Frank McGrath/PS&E]

The sixth-year swingman is shooting 94.8 percent at the line in this series. His 55 makes (on 58 attempts) in the series is already the most of any Pacer in franchise history.

  • George is 22 for 22 at the line over the last two games.
  • He has made 26 consecutive free throws.
  • He has made 10 or more free throws in four of the six games.

For context, George attempted 128 foul shots in 19 postseason games in both 2013 and 2014 when they reached the Eastern Conference Finals in back-to-back seasons. The three-time All-Star averaged 6.7 attempts per game in both postseason runs.

This postseason, meanwhile, he’s averaging almost 10 free throws per game: 9.6.

In this Round 1 series between the Pacers and Raptors (3-3), which concludes Sunday evening with a Game 7, team free throws haven’t told the full story. In the three games where the Pacers have made and attempted more foul shots, they only won once.

[Pacers packed for the week, hope recent strong play continues in Game 7]

However in a decisive Game 7, where the Pacers have the edge in experience, getting to the line and knocking down the freebies may play a big part.

And the Pacers want their All-Star, Paul George, to continue to make frequent visits to the line.

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