|ESPN.com: NBA||[Print without images]|
Clippers guard Chauncey Billups played his first game of the season Wednesday night when Los Angeles faced the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Billups had not played since he tore his left Achilles tendon in a game against the Orlando Magic on Feb. 6. He averaged 15 points and four assists in 20 games before he was injured.
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said recently that Billups would start when he was given clearance to play."I'm just proud of Chauncey because I've seen on a daily basis how hard he's worked to get back," Del Negro said before the game. "From never missing a therapy session to his conditioning and his determination, I'm real proud of him."
Billups was acquired by the Clippers in December when they were the highest bidders after the New York Knicks released him using the amnesty provision in the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement. In July, he signed a one-year deal to return to the Clippers."He actually would have been back about three weeks ago but when he was coming back, he tweaked his back so it was more precautionary," Del Negro said. "He'll be limited in terms of his minutes and we'll see how he feels. ... He's not in game condition yet but the minutes he's going to play he'll be able to handle and if he's not, he'll tell me."
Willie Green started at the shooting guard position in all 14 of the Clippers' games this season while Billups was recovering from the injury. Green is averaging 6.4 points and 1.1 assists.Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Arash Markazi was used in this report.