Clippers' Griffin to miss rest of playoffs with toe injury
- Author: Jill Young Apr 25, 2017,
Apr 25, 2017, 12:54
The Utah Jazz hosted the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night in a pivotal Game 4 of their National Basketball Association playoffs first-round series.
INJURY UPDATE: Clippers F Blake Griffin (right toe) is out for the rest of the playoffs. Griffin left Game 3 in the second quarter with what the team said at the time was a bruised toe.
Utah Jazz forward Joe Johnson (6) and Utah Jazz guard Rodney Hood (5) celebrate after a Johnson three-point basket during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 4 at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Griffin suffered a similar season-ending injury during last year's playoffs as the Clippers were knocked out of the second round by the Portland Trail Blazers.
With Griffin out in the second half, Clippers point guard Chris Paul sparked the team's second-half rally Friday night, finishing with a season-high 34 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists.
"It's tough ... as much as me and big fella have been together", Paul said.
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He suffered the injury in the team's Game 3 win over the Jazz. The Spurs were in this spot a year ago - 2-2 series, home for Game 5 - in the second round last season, and wound up losing to the Thunder in six games.
"There are three things you can do when you get tested", Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. Rivers said surgery is a possibility.
Griffin averaged 25 points in the first two games.
The Clippers were led by Jamal Crawford and Chris Paul tonight: Jamal the hot shooter, and Paul the game manger. Like I told Blake last night. right now hes probably thinking, Why me? "You've just got to weather this storm". I thought his screens were good too. Imagining the 2018 Clippers without Griffin isn't all that hard either: Paul steers a good-not-great team, Jordan picks up some slack, and perhaps Rivers scoops up Carmelo Anthony to fill the headlining void. You would think they would say, okay you gave us that 800th punch to the gut and it was more than we can handle. And we have a lot of practice at it, so were pretty good at that..
Paul added, "It has to be by committee. We got a big game (Sunday), Game 4, and we go out there expecting to win".
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For comparison, Los Angeles had an offensive rating of 106.7 and a defensive rating of 100.2 for a net rating of plus-6.5 with Griffin on the court. Paul, Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have formed an imposing trio in the regular season, but look around the West, and the Warriors, Spurs and Rockets are clearly ahead of the Clippers, who don't appear to be built for long playoff runs.
In San Antonio, Kevin Chappell birdied three of his final five holes and took a step closer to his first PGA Tour victory with a 1-under 71, giving him a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the Valero Texas Open.
The Jazz survived the loss of Rudy Gobert in Game 1. He missed the following two games and was initially listed as doubtful for Game 4 before he displayed improvement. The Paul and Jordan pick-and-roll remains effective, and Jordan's value to this team on both ends of the floor supersedes what the Clippers could fetch in a potential trade.
I kind of understood that it would be risky because you get such a heavy dose of Chris Paul..
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