Blake Griffin back vs. Phoenix
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the decision to play Griffin was up to trainers but he would monitor him once the game started.
"It's what the trainers say, I try to stay out of it," Rivers said before the game. "Once the game starts then it becomes my decision. If I don't think he's moving great, like 100 percent, I'll take him out because there's no reason to put him out there if he's not looking great. Even if he's playing OK and doesn't look real well then I'll probably sit him out."
Griffin, who participated in Wednesday's shootaround, departed Saturday's game against the Houston Rockets with 5:48 left in the first quarter, grabbing his lower back as he walked off the court and continuing to hold it as he bit his jersey in the huddle during a timeout.
He then limped off the court with team trainer Jasen Powell and went to the locker room. Griffin had played in 105 consecutive games before skipping Monday's contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"It has improved since Saturday, that's for sure," Griffin said Monday. "I still wouldn't say 100 percent. ... I've been dealing with it off and on. Most of the time it's manageable, but I felt like Saturday wasn't really manageable. I got bumped, but it wasn't a hard bump or anything. It was a bump. I feel like if it hadn't happened there it would have happened the next time I was in the lane. I don't really think it was the force."
Clippers guard Jamal Crawford will miss his second straight game Wednesday night with a sore left Achilles.
Crawford, who recently missed eight of nine games with a strained left calf, was taken out of Saturday night's contest with 5:03 left and did not return.
"It's a concern because every time he plays two games, it seems, since he's been back he gets sore again," Rivers said. "We're going to talk about that in the next couple of days ... and find out what the best way is to go forward with it."
The Clippers also will be without J.J. Redick, who has missed the past 24 games with a bulging disk in his lower back. Teammate Danny Granger already was sent home for the final three games of this road trip with a strained left hamstring. Rivers said both will be re-evaluated when the Clippers return to Los Angeles on Thursday.