Print and Go Back NBA Playoffs 2013 [Print without images]

Friday, May 3, 2013
Blake Griffin doesn't start

By Ramona Shelburne

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Blake Griffin's sprained right ankle is hurting enough that he didn't start Game 6 for the Los Angeles Clippers against the Memphis Grizzlies, though he is active and on the bench.

Griffin was limping after the shootaround and moved slowly as he shot jumpers in warmups testing his ankle Friday night. Coach Vinny Del Negro started Lamar Odom instead in a must-win game for the Clippers to avoid elimination with Memphis leading 3-2.

The Clippers forward sprained his ankle Monday and couldn't finish Tuesday night's 103-93 loss to Memphis. Griffin started 80 games during the regular season.

Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said the team prepared as if Griffin won't be out there.

"... if he plays, it'll be a heck of a boost for us," Crawford said.

The news on Griffin's Lob City running mate, Chris Paul, is better.

Paul sprained his left thumb in the first half of Game 5, but was able to continue, and reiterated Friday morning that he'll be able to start Game 6.

"It's fine. It'll be better tonight," he said. "I've had some time."

Asked what kind of treatment he's done in the two off-days, Paul smiled and said: "Just praying over it. That changes everything."

The prospect of losing in the first round after advancing to the conference semifinals last season isn't sitting well with Paul.

He couldn't sleep much Thursday night, so he went to FedEx Forum several hours before the Clippers' shootaround was scheduled to start.

"You hate that it has to get to this point," Paul said. "But it really is do or die for us tonight. It's either come out, play hard and be effective, or it's our last game of the season. And we're not ready for the season to be over."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.