Clippers Close Out Grizzlies With Chris Paul & Blake Griffin Injured?
The first round series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies has turned into a very physical affair. After the Clippers shockingly took a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series, the physicality went up another notch, as neither team is willing to give an inch.
In last night’s 92-80 loss at Memphis, L.A.’s two best players were injured — Blake Griffin hurt his (left) knee and Chris Paul injured his (right) hip – which puts a huge question mark on their ability to close out their first-round set.
With the series returning to the City of Angels for Game 6, it’s uncertain how effective each guy will be, and very unfortunate in what is a must-win game for the Angelinos. Although the former first overall pick returned to the game after the injury, he didn’t look comfortable out there.
Griffin’s injury occurred during a drive to the basket that resulted in a hard foul by the Grizzlies’ big man, Marc Gasol. After getting hammered in the air, Griffin landed awkwardly on his left leg, visibly being jerked backwards.
It was initially called a hyperflexed knee before being officially ruled as a sprain. The 2010 Slam Dunk champion is expected to have an MRI Thursday in So Cal.
“The pain scares you most,” Griffin said, who suffering a fractured patella on the same knee, which caused him to miss his entire rookie season. “It’s not because it hurts; it’s because you don’t know why. It was just kind of a weird play. My foot got caught under me, and I kind of came down wrong. It was scary at first.”
In the case of CP3, who missed the end of the regular season due to a groin injury, he appears to have hurt his hip. Contrary to initial reports that he had re-aggravated his groin, Paul’s case was officially ruled a a strained right hip flexor.
The injury took place while battling for a rebound late in the fourth quarter, as Paul immediately grabbed what appeared to be his right groin. Paul was forced to sit out the last 90 seconds of the game after coming up gingerly. After the game, Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro discarded the speculation that Paul’s old injury had resurfaced.
Paul told reporters that he and Griffin “will be ready,” for Game 6. Claiming they both are “tough guys” the reigning 2012 NBA Steals Leader spoke about the agony of having to spend the closing moments of the game watching from the bench.
“I felt a little sharp pain in my leg,” Paul added. “I’ll be all right. I was trying to go, but I couldn’t. I wanted to, tried to.”
Game 6 of this series is scheduled for Friday night at 9 PM ET live from Staples Center in Downtown LA on ESPN.