- Arash Markazi, ESPN Staff Writer
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LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin left Game 5 of their first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies in the third quarter Tuesday night for a previously injured ankle and did not return.
He was listed as day to day for a high right ankle sprain heading into Friday's Game 6 in Memphis. After Tuesday's 103-93 win, the Grizzlies hold a 3-2 lead in the series.
Griffin struggled to walk after the game as he gingerly moved around the locker room and said he wasn't sure whether he would be able to play Friday.
"As the game went on, it got worse," Griffin said. "I was in the weight room on the treadmill; they just had me walk just to keep it loose and not just sit there."
Griffin originally suffered the injury during Monday's practice but the team did not reveal it until just before tipoff of Tuesday's game. Griffin was not made available to the media after Monday's practice, and Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro didn't announce any injuries at the time or before the game Tuesday.
Del Negro said Griffin suffered the injury during a scrimmage as he came down on Lamar Odom's foot after jumping to make a pass.
"It's an unfortunate thing that happened yesterday," Del Negro said. "It's a freak accident that he came down on Lamar's foot and got a bad ankle sprain. He's got a lot of swelling in there but he got therapy all night and therapy all day and battled through it. He came out in limited minutes and was active, but as the game went on, it got worse and worse, and you could see him there in the third, he was struggling to move a little bit, and that's when I pulled the plug on that. It just didn't make sense. I really wanted to protect him and make sure he was all right, but I give him a lot of credit for being out there."
Griffin started the game but went back to the locker room with 3:12 left in the first quarter when he was taken out for Odom. He returned to the court and re-entered the game with seven minutes left in the second quarter but was noticeably limping.
After getting treatment during halftime, Griffin started the second half but was taken out of the game again for Ronny Turiaf with 5:39 left in the third quarter and the Clippers trailing 65-56. He limped back to the locker room and did not return to the game but did return to the bench in uniform for the final minutes.
He played 20 minutes, and had four points on 2-of-7 shooting, five rebounds and two turnovers.
Griffin said he wasn't even sure he would play Tuesday after suffering the injury but had nonstop treatment after practice Monday and leading up to the game.
"It's one of those things where I honestly didn't believe it happened yesterday," Griffin said. "I kept being optimistic and I got treatment literally all through the night. It just didn't hold up."
Before Griffin left the Clippers' locker room on the back of a small flat-bed cart that drove him to his car, he held out hope he could be ready for Friday's Game 6 in Memphis.
"I felt good enough at the beginning of the game today, but it got worse as time went on," Griffin said. "So hopefully with two days of rest and two days of treatment I will be ready."
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin left Game 5 of the Clippers' first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies in the third quarter Tuesday night for a previously injured ankle and did not return.