Los Angeles Clippers sign Nate Robinson to 10-day contract

Nate Robinson said his role with the Clippers will be to provide a spark off the bench

The Los Angeles Clippers signed guard Nate Robinson to a 10-day contract Saturday.

Robinson became available in January, but the Clippers decided to sign him after Jamal Crawford sustained a right calf bruise March 2 in a game against Minnesota. Crawford sat out Wednesday's game against Portland and will be out Sunday against Golden State.

"We needed another guy and, to me, he has the most experience," Rivers said of Robinson. "Would we have rather had a three or someone like that, probably. But to me, when I look at it, I don't really care about position sometimes. I'd rather get a guy that's been in the league, can score and has experience."

Robinson, 30, became available after the Boston Celtics reached a buyout agreement with him on Jan. 14, after he was traded to the Celtics from the Denver Nuggets. He's been streaky this season, averaging 5.8 points and 2.3 assists in 14.1 minutes for the Nuggets. But he has explosive potential, as he scored 34 points in a playoff game for the Chicago Bulls in 2013.

Robinson said his role with the Clippers will be to provide a spark off the bench.

"Just bringing my energy, and just be ready whenever my number is called," he said.

Robinson has played under Rivers before for parts of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, playing alongside Clippers forward Glen Davis as the Celtics reached the 2010 NBA Finals.

"I know Nate, I've coached him, I have a comfort there," Rivers said.

Robinson also has history with Crawford. They played together for the same high school in Seattle, and later played together with the New York Knicks.

Rivers said that Robinson may play Sunday against the Warriors, though he expressed concern regarding whether Robinson is in game shape.

Robinson acknowledged that no workout can appropriately emulate an NBA game, though he said he's stayed in shape during his extended time off by doing shooting and dribbling drills at UCLA and workouts on the track.

"If they need me, I'll be ready," he said.

The wait continues

Power forward Blake Griffin probably will sit out his 12th game Sunday, when the Clippers play the Warriors.

Rivers said this week that there was a chance that Griffin could be back on the court against the Warriors, but Griffin didn't practice Friday or Saturday.

When asked whether Griffin would be available Sunday, Rivers said: "I don't think so."

Griffin had surgery Feb. 9 to remove a staph infection from his right elbow. The Clippers have won seven of 11 games without their superstar, who averages 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists a game.

Injury update

Small forward Matt Barnes is probable for Sunday, after sitting out the Clippers' last two games because of a strained right hamstring.

"Obviously he can go through a practice, and then he can get soreness, and not feel fine, so we'll see," Rivers said. "But right now, I think it's probable, better chance that he plays than not."

CLIPPERS AT GOLDEN STATE

When: 12:30 p.m. PDT Sunday.

Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland

On the air: TV: Channel 7; Radio: 980, 1330.

Records: Clippers 40-22, Warriors 48-12.

Record vs. Warriors: 1-1

Update: The last time the Clippers played at Golden State, on Nov. 5, the Warriors routed won, 121-104, prompting Coach Doc Rivers to call the team 'soft.' "We're in a much better place now," Rivers said. "I've been saying it for a while, and I'm sure every other coach in the West has said it about their team, but we'll take our team and play anybody." The Clippers are in fifth place in the Western Conference, nine games behind the first-place Warriors. The Clippers eliminated the Warriors from the playoffs last season in a seven-game, first-round series. The Clippers beat the Warriors, 100-86, on Christmas.

sports@latimes.com

Rohlin is a Times correspondent.

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