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Harrell makes his presence felt as Clippers' backup center

Harrell makes his presence felt as Clippers' backup center
Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell (5) reaches to try to block a shot by Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum during the second quarter on Wednesday of their Feb. 14, 2018, game. (Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

Montrezl Harrell has taken the backup center role with the Clippers and he has no designs on giving it back.

But the way Harrell has played in that spot probably assures him that he'll keep his job behind starter DeAndre Jordan.

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Just take the last 10-game stretch as an example.

Harrell averaged 12.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in just 17.3 minutes per game. He was shooting a whopping 66.7% from the field.

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"I just took the minutes I had and made the best of it when I got in," Harrell said. "I just kept working on my game, off the court and on the court.

"Off the court, it was by just being more involved in the community stuff and the events that they do. On the court, it was just whenever we have practice and workouts, I just work on my game really. I just waited my time and kept working and kept going about it the right way. It just happen to work out for me."

Harrell had another solid outing against the Boston Celtics Wednesday night.

He scored nine points on three-for-five shooting, grabbed four rebounds and blocked a season-high four shots.

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Harrell has found success by playing to his strength.

He's good in the low post, is a decent passer and a strong rebounder.

Perhaps his best attribute is that Harrell hustles and plays with energy all the time.

"He's a great example that every year you talk about guys that are excepting their role and trying to be a star in a role, he's the perfect example of that," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "Early on, he was kind of struggling, trying to find his way. Now he knows exactly what he needs to do."

Harrell was drafted in the second round by the Houston Rockets in 2015.

He signed a three-year deal and has one remaining that pays him $1.47 million this season.

Harrell will a restricted free agent this summer, and with the way he is playing, he could be in line for a nice payday.

"Honestly, that's not really a conversation for me," Harrell said. "The conversation for me is when the game tips off, put myself and put my team in position to win. When it comes to the next deal, the next contract, I have one of the best agents.

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"But as far as what I'm doing to extend that contact or put myself into place for that contract, I'm doing it and that's playing on the court."

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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