Monday night got about as bad as possible for Doc Rivers and the Clippers. They were beaten by Portland and lost their lead in the series, and have the possibility of being without their two superstars, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, for the rest of the games.
The final score was 98-84 for Portland, who tied up the series at 2-2, and Chris Paul and Blake Griffin played 25 and 30 minutes, respectively, before exiting with their injuries. Paul was diagnosed with a third metacarpal fracture in his right hand after he went to swipe at the ball on a drive by Gerald Henderson — what’s weird is that he swiped with his left hand, and the right was on Henderson’s back.
CP3 will undergo an evaluation on Tuesday and left the arena last night with his arm in a sling. He departed from the game with 16 points, four assists, and three steals, and went into the night averaging 26.3 points and 8.3 assists through the first three games.
As if losing Paul wasn’t enough, Doc Rivers pessimistically said that Blake Griffin has a “50-50” chance of playing in LA’s next game. After being back from his hand injury and suspension in time for the playoffs, Griffin suffered an apparent left quad injury after planting on his leg. He’ll be evaluated on Tuesday as well, but Clipper fans are holding their breath because of Griffin’s quad injury from earlier this season.
He tried to stick it out but to no avail, and would reside on the bench for the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Before his exit, Griffin had a team-high 17 points and seven rebounds.
Portland capitalized on a shorthanded Clipper team and pounded in 32 points in the fourth quarter to cement their victory. Al-Farouq Aminu had a very impressive performance and threw up 30 points, ten rebounds, and three blocks. More impressively, Mason Plumlee hauled in 14 rebounds and ten assists, becoming the first Trail Blazer forward (since ’84) to have those numbers in a playoff game.
Game five will be played in Los Angeles on April 27 at 10:00 PM EST.