Clippers extend season-high winning streak to six games
Before the Clippers extended their season-high winning streak to six games with a tough 109-104 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night at Staples Center, coach Doc Rivers had bad news about injured center DeAndre Jordan.
Jordan missed his third consecutive game with a sprained left ankle that is not improving. Jordan was injured last Thursday night at Sacramento.
The Clippers, who next play at Utah on Saturday night, are uncertain when Jordan will return.
“Honestly, DJ is just not progressing like we thought,” Rivers said. “The swelling in the ankle has not gone down much at all. So, I’m not going to give a date [for his return] or anything. But I don’t see him coming back soon because we’re not going to rush DJ. DJ may try to rush DJ, but we’re not going to.
“That’s been disappointing, obviously, because we thought when he first did it, it looked like it would heal quickly and it just hasn’t. So after seeing it today, the swelling is still up.
“I can’t imagine him being back in the next day or two for sure.”
The Clippers had to play on despite the bad news and despite coming off an emotional win over the Houston Rockets on Monday night.
It meant the Clippers had to go into their reserve tanks, pulling out a win behind five players scoring in double figures and using the energy of their bench.
“A lot of guys contributed,” Rivers said. “You take any win like that.”
Blake Griffin scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Clippers. Lou Williams and Milos Teodosic added 15 points each. It was a career high for Teodosic.
Clippers reserves Montrezl Harrell (18 points, eight rebounds) and Wesley Johnson (15 points, six assists) did their thing.
But the Clippers had to overcome their woes from the free-throw line. They made only 19 of 31.
Griffin missed two free throws with 15.4 seconds and the Clippers holding a 106-104 lead.
But rookie Sindarius Thornwell made one of two free throws and Johnson made two more for the final score.
The Clippers (23-21) jumped from ninth in the Western Conference to a tie for sixth with the win.
Rivers was asked about a report that Jordan wants to be traded to his hometown Houston Rockets.
Rivers was also asked about other rumors, like the Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers talking about a Jordan trade and the Clippers engaging teams in trade talks for Griffin.
The trade deadline is Feb. 8.
“I don’t respond to those,” Rivers said. “You can ask, but I don’t think most of them are true. It’s the rumors that I have heard about.
“Usually the way it works, if I hear about a rumor and I’ve never heard it, it’s probably a rumor. That’s the way I look at it.”
Rivers said Austin Rivers is not “progressing” from his right ankle injury that has sidelined the guard.
“He did see a doctor,” Doc Rivers said. “He’s not progressing that fast right now. I know he’s in a boot in and out for the next week or so and then they are going to re-evaluate.”
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