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Back to work for the Clippers' reserves

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Juan Ocampo/Getty Images

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Monday was an off day for most of the Los Angeles Clippers after taking a 1-0 lead in their first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs Sunday night.

It was not, however, an off day for the Clippers' much-maligned reserves, as they showed up to the team's training facility for their own workout and practice.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers leaned heavily on only three reserves in Game 1 -- Jamal Crawford, Glen Davis and Austin Rivers -- with only Crawford making much of an impact, scoring 17 points in 23 minutes.

Spencer Hawes and Hedo Turkoglu were briefly in the game with those three reserves as the Clippers went with an all-reserve lineup to end the first quarter and start the second quarter.

That's when the Clippers' 12-point lead quickly turned into a two-point deficit. It would be the last time Hawes and Turkoglu were in the game, as both players played about three minutes. Rivers kept at least two starters on the floor at all times the rest of the way.

"I don't look at the playoffs as you have a second unit," Rivers said. "You're going to put individual players in, and when they play well, they stay in, and when they don't, they come out. But that's the same thing as the starters. I think everyone had a short leash on everyone. If a starter's not playing well, he comes out."

Rivers might say he does not believe in a second unit, but the fact remains he tried putting an entire second unit on the floor Sunday and saw it backfire, as it did several times during the regular season.

"I'm not going to do that a lot," Rivers said. "But I did that [Sunday] night."

While Hawes and Turkoglu were pulled quickly on Sunday, and Davis and Rivers combined for only five points, Doc Rivers said he hasn't given up on his reserves and believes they will break through at some point during the playoffs -- and perhaps even win the Clippers a game.

"It's going to happen," Rivers said. "That's what I keep saying. I told them that after the game. 'Baby and Austin, defensively you were great but the next game you may have to do something else.' Or someone else will have to do something. That's why they're out there working today because someone is going to help you. You know they will."