Clippers' Spencer Hawes says he feels much better on the court

Clippers' Spencer Hawes says he feels much better on the court
Spencer Hawes had 10 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench in the Clippers' 99-78 win Dec. 31 over the New York Knicks. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

In his second game back after missing nine games because of a bone bruise in his left knee, Spencer Hawes said he's starting to feel like himself again.

"I feel more and more comfortable," Hawes said. "The knee feels better and better. I'm not thinking about it as much. That's what's most encouraging for me."


Hawes had 10 points on four for seven shooting on Wednesday, including making two of three three-point attempts, and grabbing seven rebounds in 23 minutes of play.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said he intended to play Hawes only 15 minutes against the Knicks, but the backup center kept insisting he wanted to stay in the game.

"When you think about it, the game the other night and tonight were the first two games he's played full court since he's been injured," Rivers said.

In Monday's game against the Utah Jazz, his first game back from the injury, Hawes scored two points on one-for-four shooting from the field and had three rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and two turnovers in nearly 13 minutes of play. 

Hawes, who is averaging 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds this season, said his wind improved significantly from Monday's game to Wednesday's game.

"It felt night and day," he said "That's something that takes a little bit of time but it's good to have an extended stretch to kind of push it out a little bit."

Hawes acknowledged that he's not quite 100% yet, and that he still feels pain sometimes when he runs or cuts.

"It's feeling better," he said. "It's not as consistent."

Rivers joked that there might be another reason his pain is easing up and his play is improving.

"I just think it took him a game or two to get over that suit he wore on Christmas," Rivers said with a laugh.

Twitter: @melissarohlin