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Jamal Crawford sits because of sore ankle

CLIPPERS FYI

Team's second-leading scorer will get a few extra days of rest after rolling his ankle against Bucks.

March 07, 2013|By Broderick Turner

DENVER — Jamal Crawford sat in a chair in the Clippers' locker room before Thursday night's game against the Denver Nuggets, a sad look on his face because his sore left ankle was going to keep him out of the game.

"I rolled it in the second quarter last night," Crawford said about Wednesday night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center. "Man!"

The Clippers don't play again until Sunday against the Detroit Pistons at home, which gives Crawford two more days to get therapy.

"I'll be good," he said.

Crawford is the second-leading scorer on the Clippers, averaging 17.2 points a game. He has led the team in scoring 19 times, the second-highest on the team.

"He's played really well," Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "That's part of it. You've got to manage the schedule. You've got to handle the injuries. That's all part of it. We've had our fair share of injuries, for sure, but other guys have got to step up."

Del Negro said he could use Matt Barnes, Willie Green and Caron Butler some as the backup shooting guard guard in place of Crawford. Chauncey Billups will start at shooting guard.

"The ankle was pretty sore after the flight last night with the back-to-back," Del Negro said. "He's getting a lot of therapy."

Hill improves

As the season has progressed, Grant Hill said his conditioning has improved to the point where he doesn't get tired during games.

Hill had missed the first 36 regular-season games because of a bruised bone in his right knee.

"Physically, I feel pretty good," Hill said. "I feel like I've got my legs. I can run and I don't get tired. I'm not thinking about my knee because physically it feels good."

Hill is averaging 3.6 points in 16 minutes a game.

"Whenever I get my minutes, I just try to work them and just try to figure out how I can contribute," Hill said. "With the guys that we have, I don't think scoring is what they need from me. We've got guys that can put the ball in the basket. So for me, it's play defense."

Bledsoe sore

Del Negro said Eric Bledsoe still is having issues with a sore left calf, but he played against the Nuggets.

"He can't practice at all," Del Negro said. "He's playing in the games. He's got to get his rhythm. We've got to monitor him as much as possible."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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