Blake Griffin, Chris Paul injured
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin sprained his left knee, while guard Chris Paul suffered a strained right hip flexor and jammed the middle finger on his right hand in the Clippers' 92-80 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Griffin went down after a hard foul from Grizzlies center Marc Gasol with 1:31 remaining in the third quarter of Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round series and the Clippers trailing 75-58. Griffin lay on the ground for a few moments, grasping his left knee while surrounded by his teammates, coaches and team trainers.
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"It was just kind of a weird play," Griffin said. "My foot got caught under me, and I kind of came down wrong. It was scary at first."
Griffin stayed in the game to shoot his free throws and for the remainder of the quarter before being treated on the bench at the start of the fourth quarter.
"Our chiropractor did some stuff and it felt a little better, but then as I was out there more -- I don't want to say it got worse and worse, but it started to stiffen up," Griffin said. "The good thing is there's not much swelling." Griffin checked back into the game at 8:56 mark of the fourth quarter and was able to play the rest of the game until the closing seconds. He finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds in 39 minutes.
In October 2009, Griffin broke his patella on the same knee and was lost for the 2009-10 regular season. He described this incident as a different sensation, although one that felt serious when he landed.
"I'd never felt that before," Griffin said. "The pain scares you the most, not because it hurts, but because you don't know what's wrong."
He will undergo an MRI on Thursday.
Paul jammed the middle finger on his right hand in the first quarter before straining his right hip flexor in the fourth.
"I felt a little sharp pain in my leg," Paul said. "I'll be all right."
Paul held his midsection for several possessions in the final minutes of the game before checking out with 1:24 remaining and the Clippers trailing by eight.
"I was trying to go, but I couldn't," Paul said. "I wanted to, tried to."
Paul also will be evaluated Thursday.
Game 6 between Los Angeles and Memphis is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN. The Clippers lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.
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