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Injury puts Chris Paul on Clippers' bench

Point guard can't play because of a bruised right kneecap and the team lists him as day to day.

January 15, 2013|By Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times
  • Chris Paul missed Monday's game with a bruised right knee cap.
Chris Paul missed Monday's game with a bruised right knee cap. (Ralph Freso / Associated…)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — — Chris Paul got all the treatment he could before the Memphis Grizzlies game Monday night, but he still couldn't play because of a bruised right kneecap.

"No, I didn't get that miracle," Paul said. "But I'll be OK."

The Clippers, who play at Houston on Tuesday night, are listing Paul as day to day.

Paul was injured Saturday against Orlando when he and Magic guard J.J. Redick bumped knees with 54 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but he finished the game.

"It's a little swollen," Paul said.

Paul is second on the team in scoring (16.9 points per game), and first in assists (9.7), steals (2.62) and minutes per game (33.4).

Backup point guard Eric Bledsoe started in Paul's place.

"The smart thing to do right now is let him get some therapy and get some rest and make sure he heals up properly," Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Every day it'll be a kind of a game-time decision."

Clippers and Staples Center are negotiating

The Clippers have had conversations with representatives of Staples Center about extending their lease with the arena.

Asked if AEG, which owns Staples Center, was working on an extension with the Clippers and owner Donald Sterling, Tim Leiweke, president of AEG, told The Times, "yes."

The Clippers are having their best season in franchise history and have two stars in Paul and Blake Griffin.

They are selling out games on a regular basis, something that Leiweke said made him "proud of the Clippers."

"They're rewarding us for the relationship I think we created early on," Leiweke said. "Lots of people questioned us, lots of people underestimated the relationship we have with Donald and that team. As you're going to hear in the near future, that relationship is going to continue."

Grant Hill is making progress

Little by little, Grant Hill is making progress with his game.

It was only his second game back this season while recovering from a bruised right knee, but Hill looked sharper against Memphis.

He passed the ball well, as his four assists showed. He rebounded the ball better, as his four rebounds indicated. He scored the ball better, as his eight points on three-for-five shooting demonstrated.

There were flashes of the old Grant Hill.

There was the time he penetrated and found Matt Barnes for a three-pointer.

There was the time Hill filled the lane on the fastbreak and scored on a layup off a pass from Barnes.

"I was really nervous in the first game," Hill said. "I was so nervous, and I think the little time I was out there, that I was tired. Tonight I felt better. I don't know if it was just my wind or it was just not being as nervous. But, yeah, it's coming."

Times staff writer Helene Elliott contributed to this report from Los Angeles.

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