Blake Griffin, Chris Paul likely to play

Updated: May 11, 2012, 4:11 PM ET
By Ramona Shelburne | ESPNLosAngeles.com

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (knee) and guard Chris Paul (hip flexor, finger) spent much of Thursday getting treatment at the team's training facility in the hopes of playing in Friday night's Game 6 against the Memphis Grizzlies.

"They're both pretty sore today," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "They were in here getting as much therapy as they can today and tomorrow before the game. We obviously need both of them to be playing at a high level."

Paul told reporters after the game that he would play on Friday night in the Western Conference first-round series. Griffin's status was contingent on the results of the MRI he took Thursday afternoon, which confirmed the original diagnosis of a sprained knee.

Del Negro could not say definitively whether either player would play Friday night until both reported for shootaround Friday morning. The Clippers said Griffin and Paul would be game-time decisions on Friday 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 Wednesday night in Memphis. Griffin lay on the floor for a few moments, grasping his left knee while surrounded by his teammates, coaches and team trainers.

"It was just kind of a weird play," Griffin said after the game. "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 the 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 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."

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."

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.

Information from ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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