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Eric Gordon plays through pain, but Clippers lose to Blazers

Guard has 35 points, including seven three-pointers, despite a torn ligament in finger. However, Portland gets going after a slow start and pulls away, 108-93.

January 20, 2011|By Lisa Dillman
  • Clippers guard Eric Gordon looks to pass against the defense of Blazers guard Wesley Matthews in the second half Thursday night at the Rose Garden.
Clippers guard Eric Gordon looks to pass against the defense of Blazers… (Don Ryan / Associated Press )

Reporting from Portland, Ore.

Apparently, all Eric Gordon needed was a rush of severe pain and major discomfort to break on through to the other side.

It just wasn't enough for the Clippers to break through with a victory

Gordon made a career-high seven three-point baskets on his way 35 points, but the Portland Trail Blazers pulled away for a 108-93 victory on Thursday night at the Rose Garden.

Gordon's effort came about 24 hours after he suffered a torn ligament in his right ring finger.

And the pain had not eased, either. He said before the game it still hurt as much as it did when he originally suffered the injury, going after a loose ball in the first half against the Timberwolves

Gordon's night was reminiscent of his performance earlier in the season at Utah when his superb defense and offense nearly pulled off the upset in double overtime.

Gordon made five three-pointers in the second half and came within one of the franchise record, which is held by Quentin Richardson. However, the Clippers' winning streak ended at three games.

"Portland is a good team. They're better than what you think," Gordon said. "We put it on ourselves. I still think they're a good team but we kind of lost that one by our defense."

Gordon got the Clippers back into the game and pulled them within three points with a little more than six minutes remaining.

"We can't just have Blake [Griffin] and Eric," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Baron [Davis] got off to a good start, but I didn't think our bench was very good. We couldn't slow down [LaMarcus] Aldridge."

Griffin led the Clippers with 18 rebounds and added 20 points, getting a fresh start on a new double-double streak.

It had started with so much promise.

The Clippers opened up a 14-point lead and the game wasn't even six minutes old.

But it looks as though a Red Bull rush barely lasts a quarter these days.

The Clippers produced a dizzying whirl of offense for the first five minutes here against the Trail Blazers.

That frantic pace was bound to slow, and it did. By the third quarter, it disappeared in a vapor of turnovers, ineffective defense and stagnant offense.

For all their strides, the young Clippers (16-26) can't seem to solve the veteran Trail Blazers, who at 24-20 are holding down the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Make that the wounded Trail Blazers.

This team could stage its own medical reality show and call it "Wounded Knee." The latest Portland player to require knee surgery was former Clipper Marcus Camby, who followed in the path of Brandon Roy and Co.

Gordon, who came into the game averaging a team-high 23.8 points, said he would play through the torn ligament. That meant anywhere from eight to 10 weeks before the injury heals, factoring in the possibility of re-aggravating it, said trainer Jasen Powell.

Although there have been comparisons made to Kobe Bryant's injury, Powell said the two injuries were not the same. "Kobe's was an avulsion fracture, where the tendon took off a part of the bone," he said.

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