NBA finals hopes could be under-threat with no timetable for forward’s return.
The Los Angeles Clippers might have earned an important win in the context of their season against the Houston Rockets, but they lost one of their star players in the process.
Los Angeles defeated the Houston Rockets 118-107 on Saturday but Blake Griffin left the game with 5.48 minutes left in the first quarter with back spasms.
Griffin has been battling hip issues in the lead-up to the road game, and Clippers coach Doc Rivers said it might have led to the next ailment.
“Back spasms, day-to-day,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said after the game. “I’m sure they’re going to do whatever they do with X-rays and all that stuff, so we’ll see.”
“It was his hip yesterday, it had nothing do with his back, but I think that’s what triggered it,” Rivers said. “Whatever was going on before, that’s what triggered the back injury. It scared the hell out of me because I’ve had that reaction myself. That’s a back injury. They don’t think it’s awful, but it’s a back injury.”
Rivers said he was unsure of when Griffin could return to the Clippers’ starting five, saying they are likely to err on the side of caution with just eight regular season games left.
“I’m not sure how bad it is, I just don’t know yet,” Rivers said. “Clearly, if it’s something where [Powell] says, ‘Hey, it’s your call,’ then that means no. I mean if it’s my call, then no. I want it to be the trainer’s call where he knows he can play. If it gets to that, I would rest Blake, Chris [Paul] or Jamal [Crawford].”
LA has already been battling with some injury concerns, with guard J.J. Reddick out with a long-term bulging disk in his back which has seen him miss 23 games.
While new recruit Danny Granger has missed the last three games with a strained left hamstring.
Griffin is in the middle of his best career as a pro, averaging 24.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.