- Kevin Arnovitz, ESPN Staff Writer
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Asked how Griffin's high right ankle sprain injury might affect the matchup of power forwards when the two teams meet on Friday for Game 6 of their first-round series, Randolph was dismissive, reminding reporters that he was nursing his own injuries.
"Banged up?" Randolph said. "I'm banged up. You forgot about my ankle? Banged up. My ankle is as big as a balloon. Talk to the trainers. I'm getting treatment every day. It's the playoffs."
Randolph rolled his left ankle during Game 2 of the series in Los Angeles when he got tangled with Griffin beneath the Clippers' basket. A sprain of that same ankle on March 1 kept Randolph out of action for four games.
Griffin's ankle sprain occurred during a scrimmage when he landed on a teammate's ankle at Clippers practice on Monday. He started Game 5 on Tuesday night but left the game at the 5:39 mark of the third quarter and did not return. He scored only four points in 25 minutes during the Clippers' 112-91 loss that gave the Grizzlies a 3-2 series lead. Griffin did not practice Thursday and will be a game-time decision for Game 6 in Memphis on Friday.
"Last year when I played in the playoffs, I wasn't 100 percent, but I was out there, so I had to be 100 percent," Randolph said. "It's the playoffs. It's a big-boy game."
Grizzlies guard Mike Conley acknowledged that an opponent's injury can inform game strategy, but said he anticipates the Clippers to play like a team at full strength and for Griffin to battle through discomfort.
"Teams do put you in more schemes, more pick-and-rolls, try to wear you down a little bit more knowing that you're banged up here and there, but [the Clippers] have played through injuries just like any other team has played through injuries," Conley said. "[Griffin] is a great player. He's a fighter. I expect him to be Blake Griffin, and I'm not going to treat him any differently because he's capable of putting up big numbers and big nights. We just have to hope it's not tomorrow."
With a win in Memphis on Friday night, the Grizzlies will try to avenge last season's elimination at the hands of the Clippers and advance to the conference semifinals for the second time in three years.
19hSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann