Blake Griffin left the Los Angeles Clippers game early on Monday after suffering an apparent left knee injury.
The Los Angeles Clippers eeked out a 120-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, but it came at the expense of Blake Griffin’s left knee. In the fourth quarter of last night’s contest, Austin Rivers landed on Griffin’s knee, causing it to bend awkwardly. As of Monday morning, there’s no additional news, but Doc Rivers wants to be cautious.
“It didn’t look good,” said Rivers to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz. “But we’ll just have to wait and see.”
On a drive to the basket, Lakers guard Lonzo Ball and Griffin got tangled up while fighting for the ball. Rivers joined the tug-of-war a second too late, stepped on Griffin’s foot and then fell onto his knee. It wasn’t intentional, but more bad luck. Doc, however, tried to paint Lonzo as the bad guy.
Blake to the locker room. Oh no. pic.twitter.com/brmG0GCJDW
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) November 28, 2017
“You could see right when it happened,” explained Rivers. “Lonzo was just trying to make a play, but he went in. Usually when you go in like that, that hard … they call it.”
Griffin went back to the locker room shortly after the play. “I knew immediately, I thought,” said Rivers. “But then Blake said he was OK. I just saw his leg go in, and then when they switched on back-to-back plays, he couldn’t move so we had to get him out of the game.”
The Clippers are now 8-11 after the victory and stretched their winning streak to three. After a torrid start, they’ve cooled off significantly but have gotten walloped by the injury bug. Patrick Beverley, who came over in the Chris Paul trade, is out for the season after undergoing an operation to repair a microfracture in his right knee.
Guard Milos Teodosic has played just two games this year and isn’t expected to return until the end of December while he deals with plantar fasciitis. Lastly, there’s Danilo Gallinari, who’s out for a couple of more games thanks to a strained left glute. Griffin’s injury, however, is the most crushing blow.
After looking like an MVP candidate to start the season, Griffin has come back down to Earth, boasting averages of 23.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists. He’s been the Clippers best player. The worst part, though, his this knee injury isn’t the first for the 28-year-old, and that’s a cause for apprehension. He missed his entire rookie season because of a broken kneecap. In more recent years, Griffin’s dealt with a quad injury and a broken hand. The last season he appeared in at least 80 games was 2014.
Los Angeles gave Blake Griffin a five-year, $173 million deal this summer. It was mired in risk because of his injury history. Hopefully, this isn’t anything serious, and Griffin can return to play after missing a game or two.
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