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CLIPPERS FYI

Jamal Crawford played through pain on trip

He sat out one game because of injuries, but it probably should have been more.

February 13, 2013|By Broderick Turner

In hindsight, Jamal Crawford and the Clippers acknowledged that the reserve guard probably shouldn't have played in a few games after he was injured during their eight-game trip.

But he gutted it out because of the respect he has for his teammates and the team.

At the time, Chris Paul (bruised right kneecap) and Chauncey Billups (tendinitis left foot) were still out because of their injuries.

Then Crawford broke his nose against Toronto and also suffered a sore right shoulder.

Instead of resting, Crawford played in the next two games at Boston and Washington. And Blake Griffin went down with a strained left hamstring before the game against the Wizards started.

Crawford finally shut it down for one game, against the Orlando Magic, before playing the last three games on the trip.

"Like I said, if you don't have that camaraderie and that family atmosphere where guys are like, 'Well, I'm out too. I'm hurt,'" Crawford said. "But with this team, you'd do anything for them. And we're all like that. It's not just me."

Crawford wore a mask for his broken nose in the first game after it was injured, but he stopped wearing it during that game and hasn't worn it since.

"The mask was the best defender I've seen this year," Crawford joked. "Honestly, I was like, 'Oh, no.' I couldn't even see my feet."

Crawford said his shoulder has "bothered me the worst."

He also has been dealing with a left thigh bruise.

"Honestly, the last trip was probably the most banged up I've been at one time in my career," Crawford said. "Like different things. I had a thigh contusion. I can talk about it now, but back then you don't want to talk about it. It's like a 'True Warrior' or something.

"I got kneed in the thigh. My nose was broken. My shoulder was still coming around. So it was the most tough thing."

Hollins earns more minutes

The Clippers were looking for some sort of lift during their long trip, and they found it in reserve center Ryan Hollins.

Hollins had playing behind starter DeAndre Jordan and backup Ronny Turiaf.

But Hollins played in the last four road games ahead of Turiaf, and the 7-footer played well.

"On the road, it was just trying to find as many healthy bodies as possible, and Ryan did a nice job for us in some games," Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "And I just wanted to go with his energy and his activity and his length and that's kind of how it's worked out."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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