On a night the Clippers welcomed back two starters from the injured list, starting center DeAndre Jordan suffered a sprained left ankle and had to leave in the first half of a 121-115 win over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night at Golden1 Center.
Jordan, who had thrown down a right-handed dunk over Sacramento’s Skal Labissiere with 5 minutes 15 seconds to play in the second quarter, came out to the floor at halftime and tried to return. But he eventually went back to the locker room for the rest of the game.
Blake Griffin, who sat out the previous two games because of a concussion, and Milos Teodosic, sidelined for the previous three because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot, both returned to the starting lineup just in time for the injury-marred Clippers.
Griffin, who had 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, said it was “par for the course for our team this year” for the Clippers to have another player sidelined because of an injury.
“One guy comes back, one guy has to go out,” Griffin said. “Naw, I mean, you obviously hate to see that happen. DJ is never out long. He’ll be back soon.”
Griffin added that he felt “fine head-wise. But I just felt I was a little off rhythm-wise.”
When Jordan came down after his dunk over Labissiere, the center’s left knee buckled.
Jordan limped to the bench and sat down, his hands over his head while Clippers trainer Jasen Powell knelt in front of the distraught veteran.
A few minutes later, Jordan limped to the Clippers locker room.
Jordan left with eight points on four-for-four shooting, seven rebounds and two assists.
“I stepped on his foot,” Jordan, who had an electric stim device hooked up to his ankle after the game, said of Labissiere. “I tried to come back, but I couldn’t.
Jordan has played in all 41 of the Clippers’ games.
The Clippers play the Kings again Saturday at Staples Center.
“Am I playing Saturday?” Jordan asked. “We’ll see.”
The Clippers won their third consecutive game because of a team effort.
Lou Williams followed up his 50-point explosion against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night by scoring 30 points against the Kings.
Montrezl Harrell, playing more because Jordan was unavailable, scored a season-high 25.
Wesley Johnson contributed 13 points and Teodosic had 10 points and nine assists.
The Clippers saw their 16-point lead in the third quarter turn into a one-point deficit in the fourth.
But like they have done so often this season, the Clippers kept competing.
They finally put the game away in a wild finish.
Williams turned the ball over with 15.2 seconds left and the Clippers holding a 117-115 lead.
But Kosta Koufos, who made the steal, threw the ball away to Tyrone Wallace.
Wallace got the ball and waltzed in for a dunk that gave the Clippers a 119-115 lead.
“It was a great win,” Griffin said. “All we talked about before the game was getting a win. Guys stepped up. Guys played really well. Guys made big plays when we needed them and we’re walking out of here with a win.”