A season marred by injuries saw some improvement on Thursday night. The LA Clippers, now just one game back of .500, enjoyed the return of starters Blake Griffin and Milos Teodosic.
Griffin had been in the concussion protocol while Teodosic continues to battle plantar fasciitis. Griffin’s return gave the Clippers a boost as LA held on for a 121-115 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Despite a cavalcade of injuries, Doc Rivers’ group has managed to stay in the hunt. They are currently a half game out of the eighth seed, with their injury fortunes hopefully trending in the right direction.
However, the Clippers did lose center DeAndre Jordan to a sprained ankle in the first half. Should Jordan miss any time, he would emerge as the fifth starter to miss games due to injury. As is the Clippers’ philosophy, though, the next man stepped up in Jordan’s absence.
Montrezl Harrell scored 25 points in 27 minutes, and Willie Reed provided a boost, as well.
"Guys made big plays when we needed them," Griffin told reporters following the win over the Kings. "Guys that weren't even on an NBA roster at the beginning of the season are coming up and making big plays like they've been in the league for years. That's awesome to see."
The Clippers have an opportunity to climb back to .500 on Saturday night when they host the Kings on the back end of a home-and-home. The schedule will grow increasingly difficult, as the next two games are against the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets. The Rockets, however, will be missing James Harden.
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