NBA: Paul out indefinitely, Griffin season over for Clippers
LOS ANGELES, USA – Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul faces an indefinite injury layoff with a broken hand while Blake Griffin will miss the rest of the season, the NBA team announced Tuesday.
A statement on the Clippers website said Paul, who broke his hand against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time), had undergone surgery to repair the fracture.
"Paul will be out indefinitely," the Clippers said in an injury update.
Another statement on the Clippers website said Paul would be re-evaluated in 4 to 6 weeks -- a layoff which could mean the 30-year-old's season is over.
The injury to Paul has dealt a devastating blow to the Clippers' hopes of mounting a sustained playoff challenge.
With Paul off the court on Monday, the Portland Trail Blazers roared back to claim a 98-84 victory and level the series at 2-2.
The gloomy medical bulletin worsened for the Clippers with confirmation that Griffin will miss the rest of the season.
Griffin aggravated a quadriceps tendon injury which forced him to miss 41 games earlier this season.
Griffin felt a tweak in the muscle after being fouled by Portland's Mason Plumlee during the third quarter of Monday's game.
An MRI on Tuesday revealed no further structural damage to the area -- but Griffin's season is over, the team said.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the team would somehow seek to shrug off the double injury blow ahead of Wednesday's crucial game 5 in Los Angeles.
"We don't have to be the best team. We just have to be the best team tomorrow," Rivers said. "And then we have to figure out how to do it one more time."
Rivers meanwhile brushed off suggestions that the Clippers were victims of a curse.
"There's no jinx there. I don't know. It's bum's luck three years in a row," Rivers said.
"I get down for like 5 minutes and I was last night, but you wake up in the morning and you feel like we're going to find a way and it's my job to get them to feel like I feel and if we do that, I think we'll have a fighting chance."
Portland point guard Damian Lillard meanwhile warned his teammates against complacency now that they will be facing a weakened Clippers team.
"It changes things a lot -- more so for them. Their best player goes down, the guy that makes your team go," Lillard said.
"It's unfortunate for one of the better players in the league to go through an injury like that. You don't wish that on anybody.
"It's not like they have guys who can't play. They still have a really good team. Our mindset has to be, nothing changes. We have to have the same approach defensively and continue to trust each other offensively." – Rappler.com