An MRI exam on Austin Rivers’ strained Achilles’ tendon was negative, giving the Clippers some good news on the injury front Saturday.
The guard was listed as day to day.
Rivers was injured in the third quarter of Friday night’s game against the Lakers at Staples Center, apparently going down without anyone touching him.
He was helped into the locker room and did not return.
After the game, Rivers left the arena on crutches and did not speak with the media.
It had been a tough night for Rivers health-wise. He went down with 7:45 left in the second quarter because of a bruised left elbow.
Rivers, who has been a starter in 30 of the 32 games he has played in, has been having the best season of his six-year career, averaging a career-high 15.8 points per game.
He’s also shooting a career-best 40.5% from three-point range.
Rivers had back-to-back career games earlier this month, scoring a career-high 36 points against the Houston Rockers, then topping that the next night with a career-best 38 points against the Memphis Grizzlies.
“It sucks, but we can’t use that as an excuse,” DeAndre Jordan said Friday night after hearing about Rivers’ injury. “That’s why we’ve got a deep team. We’ve got to figure out a way to make it work. It sucks losing one of your main scorers, a guy who has been playing extremely well for our team. But, like I said, we’ve got to figure out a way to make it work while he’s down and still be able to collect wins while he’s getting healthy.”
Griffin’s strong comeback
Blake Griffin, who missed 14 games because of a sprained left medial collateral ligament on his left knee, had a successful return.
His 24 points, six rebounds and six assists just told part of the story.
Griffin also played 32 minutes, 10 seconds, which is a considerable amount considering he had been out four weeks rehabilitating his knee.
“I didn’t have any second thoughts, didn’t have any moments when I didn’t trust it,” Griffin said after Friday’s game. “That was important. But most importantly, it was just mixing back in with the guys. I think we’ve been playing really hard, been playing the right way. So I just wanted to get back in and have a successful game.”
Griffin looked spry during the game, attacking the basket, throwing down dunks — playing as if he were on a mission.
Griffin was 11 for 12 from the free-throw line and he was a plus-11 in the plus-minus category.
“Your first game back, you’re just trying to concentrate on doing the right things, helping out and all that,” Griffin said. “I hope every time we get a new injured guy back that gives us another boost. But unfortunately, like I said, we’ve dealt with a lot of injuries so need as many bodies as we can get.”
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