Advertisement
 

Clippers' Grant Hill steps in for hurt Caron Butler

The 40-year-old forward, who has considered retiring at the end of the season, has five points, one rebound and two blocked shots in 11 minutes 28 seconds. Butler has a sore right knee.

April 13, 2013|By Broderick Turner
  • Grant Hill, shown against New York's Raymond Felton in February, scored five points on two-for-three shooting, had one rebound and two blocked shots during the Clippers 91-87 victory over Memphis on Saturday.
Grant Hill, shown against New York's Raymond Felton in February,… (Chuck Myers / MCT )

MEMPHIS — Grant Hill can see the end of his career coming.

"I'm 99% sure this it, that this will be my last season," Hill said.

But then Hill was asked to step into a void for the Clippers when Caron Butler was unable to play in the second half of the Clippers' 91-87 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday because of a sore right knee.

Hill scored five points on two-for-three shooting, had one rebound and two blocked shots in 11 minutes 28 seconds.

So, Hill was asked after the game in which he played a pivotal role, is he still thinking about retiring?

"No," Hill said, smiling. "Naw, I'm still leaning towards that, but I'll decide this summer."

But when Hill plays as he did against Memphis, it's easy to understand why the 40-year-old forward would want to extend his 19-year career.

He made a three-pointer in the fourth quarter to cut the Clippers' deficit to two points.

He then got an offensive rebound and scored on that, tying the score at 77.

Later in the fourth, Hill blocked a driving shot by Mike Conley.

Every one of Hill's teammates on the bench stood and cheered.

"It was good to be out there," Hill said. "I was just trying to make plays and help the team. I hadn't played in a while, so it was fun to get out there and play. It's good to know that I've still got it."

Late in the game, with the Clippers leading by two points, Coach Vinny Del Negro re-inserted Hill into the game to inbound the ball with 3.8 seconds left.

Hill got the ball in and the Clippers escaped.

"The old man out there, Grant, he hit a couple of big shots, had a couple of blocks for us," Del Negro said. "Really proud of him. He stays ready and that's what's up."

Butler is hurt

Butler played the first 9:02 in the first half, but couldn't go anymore after his right knee became sore.

Butler is listed as day to day by the Clippers.

"I felt it some yesterday," Butler said. "But I'll be back."

Bledsoe listening to veterans

Eric Bledsoe said veteran players such as Butler always offer words of encouragement to him.

And that's why Bledsoe said he has been able to get out of a recent slump.

He had nine points, four rebounds and three steals against the Grizzlies.

"You need the veterans talking to you, especially when you're a young person and you're going through a slump," Bledsoe said. "They wouldn't let me stay away from the gym. My teammates, especially Caron, me and him came in and got a couple of shots up late at night. I cherish every moment with my teammates."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|