The Los Angeles Clippers lost a hard fought game five of their quarterfinal series against the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night. They are still ahead in the series 3-2, but now must worry about injuries to two of their key players. The team’s leading scorer and rebounder, Blake Griffin sprained his knee in the third quarter. He was able to return to the game, but was noticeably hurt.
To make matters worse, Chris Paul the team’s playmaker, the team’s second leading scorer and the court general not only jammed the middle finger on his shooting hand, but also hurt his hip flexor late in the game. Both players are scheduled to undergo MRIs on Thursday to get a better feel for the seriousness of their injuries.
The Clippers entered the game with a 3-1 lead in the series and had hoped to eliminate the Grizzlies last night. However, they fell behind by over 20 points in the second half of the game. With the help of Griffin and Paul, they were able to battle back to within six points at one time, but could not get any closer. If Paul and Griffin are sidelined, the Clippers will lose nearly 50% of their offensive power and the majority of their strength both on the boards and in the backcourt.
Memphis must continue to hit the offensive boards to get second and third looks at the basket. Zach Randolph and Mark Gasol were key in last night’s victory as they were able to get key offensive boards and convert them into second look points for the team.