Chris Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers point guard, suffered a fracture in his hand during Monday’s Game 4 against the Trailblazers, a game which Portland won 98-84 to level the first round best-of-seven series at two wins apiece.
With 6:07 left in the third quarter, Paul suffered the injury (Watch Video Above) while defending Portland guard Gerald Henderson before walking off the court. Paul never returned to the court, fueling speculation that the injury could be worse than expected. If things weren’t bad enough already, Blake Griffin also suffered a left quad injury that limited his fourth quarter minutes. The all-star forward sat out of the the final 5:48 of the game.
Television cameras caught a furious Paul walking off to the locker room after being briefly checked by the Clippers trainer. After undergoing a brief check-up, Paul shook his head and kicked the team bag in anger before leaving the arena. It didn’t spell much optimism for the fourth seeded Clippers.
According to ESPN, Paul’s fracture was in “the third metacarpal, in the center of the palm of his right hand.” Paul didn’t respond positively to Clippers athletic trainer Jasen Powell, who looked at the guard’s right middle finger and wrist before escorting the guard back to the dressing room.
Without Chris Paul, Clippers drop Game 4
Meanwhile, the Trailblazers romped to a 98-84 victory to level the series at 2-2, thanks largely to a playoff-best performance from Al-Farouq Aminu (30 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 6-10 3pt). Though Damian Lillard (12 points, 4-15 FG) had a forgettable night, the likes of Aminu, CJ McCollom (19 points) and Allen Crabbe (12 points, 5-5 FG) made timely shots and never let the Clippers stage a comeback. |Final Box Score|
Though the game remained close through the first three quarters, the home team pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring Clippers 32-20 to complete the victory. For the Clippers, Jeff Green had 17 points and 5 rebounds off the bench while Blake Griffin finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds. JJ Redick had a forgettable shooting night – going 2-8 from deep for his 8 points from 26 minutes.
Chris Paul had 16 points and 4 assists before the injury. Clippers desperately need Paul back for Game 5. Otherwise, Trailblazers could run away with the series and complete a major upset.