Clippers point guard Chris Paul and power forward Blake Griffin (32) will… (Gus Ruelas / Associated…)
Clippers fans can breathe just a little bit easier.
Coach Vinny Del Negro announced Friday evening that Blake Griffin and Chris Paul will start for the Clippers in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies, but Del Negro remained unsure just how healthy his two superstars are with tip-off looming.
“We did some walk-through stuff today," Del Negro said. “But they haven’t run or done anything yet, so we’ll wait to see how they get out there and warm-up.”
Griffin had an MRI exam on his sprained left knee Thursday that the Clippers said revealed no structural damage. The All-Star power forward was injured during the third quarter of Game 5 on Wednesday night in Memphis.
Paul received treatment on his strained right hip flexor that was injured during the fourth quarter of Game 5. Paul has maintained that he would play Friday, despite also jamming his right middle finger.
Asked if Griffin's and Paul’s minutes would be limited Friday, Del Negro said, "I’m sure they will be a little bit," and added that he wanted to watch them in warm-ups to make a better determination on their health and, subsequently, playing time.
The two stars are not the only sore Clippers who will have to tough it out tonight. Small forward Caron Butler has been playing despite a fractured left hand that he sustained in Game 1.
Del Negro said his team knows how important it is to close out the series in L.A.
"Talking about it is easy,” he said. “But you have to go execute."
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