LOS ANGELES, USA – Los Angeles Clippers star forward Blake Griffin will miss the remainder of the NBA playoffs because of a right big toe injury, the club announced Saturday, April 22.
Griffin injured the plantar plate on the bottom of the toe in the first half of the Clippers’ 111-106 victory over the host Utah Jazz on Friday, which gave Los Angeles a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference best-of-7 first-round playoff series.
The 28-year-old American, a 5-time NBA All-Star, will be re-evaluated by foot and ankle specialist Richard Ferkel when the team returns from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles.
Griffin suffered the setback after landing awkwardly with 3:18 remaining in the second quarter. He went to the locker room during a timeout and had X-rays taken on the toe. (READ: NBA ‘super friend’ Chris Paul quietly creates a legacy amid hatred)
After averaging 25 points and 6 rebounds in the first two games of the series, Griffin scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting with 6 rebounds over 18 minutes in his abbreviated final outing for the Clippers.
Clippers guard Chris Paul scored a season-high 34 points with 10 assists and 7 rebounds to spark a second-half rally that put the Clippers ahead of Utah, which hosts Game 4 on Sunday.
During the regular season, Griffin averaged 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists over 61 games.
“One of the biggest adjustments is we probably won’t be able to play through the post so much,” Paul said of playing without Griffin.
“He’s such a dynamic player. We go to him in the post, and we cut and move off him. … He’s our other assist guy. Just his leadership, it’s just a different feeling when he’s on the court.”
Griffin has been nagged by injuries during his NBA career. In last year’s playoffs, he aggravated a left quadriceps injury in Game 4 of the Clippers’ first-round series against Portland and the Trail Blazers eliminated Los Angeles in 6 games.
Earlier this season, Griffin missed 18 consecutive games after right knee surgery. – Rappler.com