L.A. Now

Spencer Hawes returns to Clippers lineup after missing nine games

Clippers' Spencer Hawes has two points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots in return

Clippers backup center Spencer Hawes returned to the lineup in Monday's game against the Utah Jazz after missing nine games because of a bone bruise in his left knee.

In nearly 13 minutes of play, Hawes scored two points on one-for-four shooting from the field and had three rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and two turnovers.

Hawes left the locker room before reporters had a chance to speak with him, but Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said that Hawes definitely needs to get some practice time in before he'll be back in form. 

"He moved great," Rivers said. "You could see his timing was off. He was pump-faking on threes when he was wide open. What ... was that?"

Hawes has averaged 6.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists this season. The Clippers definitely felt Hawes' absence this past month.

Having both Jamal Crawford and Hawes as reserves gives the Clippers a nice scoring punch off the bench. Without Hawes, the second unit was much less effective and Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan had to play more minutes. 

After being unable to practice since Dec. 5 because of a heavy game schedule, the Clippers will finally have two consecutive days off following Wednesday's game against the New York Knicks.

Rivers hopes that Hawes will be able to work toward regaining his game speed then.

"I thought he'd really struggle, wind-wise, because he really hasn't been out there," Rivers said. "He's been playing three on threes. But I thought he was pretty good."

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World