It takes some doing to keep DeAndre Jordan out of an NBA game.
The last time it happened, on March 23, 2011, the Clippers center had been hospitalized the previous week because of a mild case of pneumonia.
"Iron man," Clippers shooting guard Jamal Crawford said of his teammate. "He's unbelievable."
Jordan played in his 300th consecutive game Sunday at the United Center during the Clippers' 96-86 victory over the Chicago Bulls, extending the NBA's longest active streak.
Jordan said there was no secret to his durability.
"It means I'm lucky just to be able to play and not have any injuries to where it holds me out," he said.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said what's even more impressive than Jordan's consecutive games streak is his consecutive practices streak; Rivers couldn't recall Jordan having sat out one in his two seasons as the team's coach.
Clippers point guard Chris Paul said Jordan's presence in games has been such a constant that he couldn't imagine Jordan sitting in street clothes on the bench.
"There's times where I've had to sit back and realize I've never played a game as a Clipper without him," said Paul, who is in his fourth season with the team.
Jordan remains a long way from threatening the franchise record of 595 consecutive games played by Randy Smith from February 1972 to April 1979.
The biggest threat to Jordan's streak might be Rivers' temptation to rest him late in the season if the Clippers' playoff seeding is secure. Rivers has said he would defer to Jordan if the player wanted to keep his streak alive, but Jordan said there might be more important considerations.
"If the game didn't count and we're not going to move up or move down in playoff seeding ..." Jordan said, his voice trailing off as if he was contemplating the possibilities. "But we'll see. Only time will tell."
Hamming it up
Matt Barnes strained his right hamstring so severely in the second quarter that he had to leave the game and return to the locker room.
It was no biggie, at least for the moment.
The Clippers small forward returned before the end of the first half and finished with a game-high four blocked shots, including one of a corner three-pointer by Nikola Mirotic that helped preserve his team's second consecutive victory.
"I was just all adrenaline during the game," Barnes said.
The question is how will his hamstring feel once the adrenaline stops flowing. Rivers said he would hold Barnes out of the Clippers' game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday if his hamstring wasn't fully recovered.
Barnes said he agreed with that mentality.
"It's more about the long haul," Barnes said. "I'm definitely going to try to play. I look forward to the challenge of guarding [star rookie Andrew] Wiggins, but if I can't, I can't."