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Clippers' list of injuries just keeps growing

November 09, 2009|Lisa Dillman

Just what the Clippers don't want to see when Chris Paul is lurking around the corner and an oh-so-modest goal of .500 is within reach:

Eric Gordon is injured.

The second-year guard is suffering from a sore left groin, making him doubtful for tonight's game against Paul and the New Orleans Hornets at Staples Center.

Gordon didn't suffer a specific acute injury but experienced discomfort and soreness during the fourth quarter of Saturday night's victory over Memphis.

The Clippers (3-4) didn't have a full-scale practice Sunday, when they mostly watched game film. Gordon was rechecked in the morning and the decision was made to rest him.

He is considered day to day, but day-to-day injuries have a way of turning into week-to-week when it comes to the Clippers, and naturally they are hoping this is an exception.

Facing Paul was always going to be a tough task for the Clippers, let alone without one of their best defensive players and second-leading scorer.

"I still think we have to do a better job of getting him more volume of shots," Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said. "He's a good shooter, good off the dribble, good attacking the rim. Unfortunately, I still don't think he gets respect from the referees.

"After the fact, so many times on the film, we feel like he gets fouled and he just doesn't get calls."

Should Gordon start acting like a soccer player and start flopping?

"He needs to be one of those squeaky wheels," Dunleavy said. "Part of it is that he's a great kid. He doesn't say 'boo.' But he gets zero calls. Not that he should get calls that aren't fouls. He should get the calls that are fouls."

If Gordon can't play, the Clippers could move Rasual Butler from small forward to shooting guard. Other potential fill-ins include swingman Ricky Davis and guard Kareem Rush.

Davis has appeared in two games, and the most he played was nearly 17 minutes Friday night at Golden State. Rush also, has appeared infrequently, playing in only three games.

Gordon is averaging 18.9 points, second on the team behind Chris Kaman's 23.0. Kaman, who is shooting a team-high 58% from the field, has scored 20-plus points in six straight games.

Gordon, usually durable, has played big minutes early this season, logging 40 or more four times. He is averaging 38.3 minutes.

One of the times he didn't need to go past the 40-minute mark was in Friday's rout of the Warriors, in which the starters were able to rest most of the fourth quarter. He went 41 minutes against the Grizzlies with 15 points and six assists, and was scoreless in the fourth quarter.

Gordon also contributed to a solid defensive effort on O.J. Mayo, who scored only eight points.

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lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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