Before Saturday afternoon’s game, while being queried so much about all the Clippers’ injuries this season, Coach Doc Rivers was asked if he ever gets frustrated opening his pregame press conferences giving medical updates.
“Yeah,” Rivers said, smiling and shaking his head.
Well, after Stephen Curry torched the Clippers for 45 points in three quarters of a 121-105 victory by the Golden State Warriors — L.A.’s 12th straight loss to the defending champions — Rivers had to give another medical update on Blake Griffin, who suffered a concussion in the first quarter and did not return.
Griffin drove hard to the basket, went airborne and was struck in his head by an elbow from Golden State’s JaVale McGee. Griffin hit the Staples Center court on his back with a thud, his right hand trembling. He grabbed his head with both hands.
After being treated by the Clippers’ medical staff while down for a while, Griffin wobbled to the locker room with a bruise on his forehead.
“When you see Blake’s hand [tremble], you knew it was bad,” Rivers said. “I know it’s a concussion.”
Rivers said he didn’t know if Griffin lost consciousness.
“I talked to him at halftime for a little bit and he was struggling,” Rivers said. “My guess is yes, but I don’t know that at all. He was struggling at halftime. So, that’s not good.”
Griffin will enter the NBA’s concussion protocol and the Clippers will have to wait and see when he is cleared to return. When Austin Rivers suffered a concussion last month, he sat out two games.
The Clippers host the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night and then face the Warriors in Oakland on Wednesday night.
“Listen, we’re in the new world of concussions, so we don’t know anything about them,” Doc Rivers said. “But I just know it’s dangerous and you got to do all the right things and all the right steps. That would mean he’s not playing Monday.”
Rivers said he “never had” so many injuries before in his 19-year NBA coaching career. The Clippers have had seven players miss a total of 102 games. Griffin missed 14 with a left knee injury before returning eight days ago.
“I’ve never had this, like this, but that’s the way it’s been,” Rivers said. “That’s all we have to talk about right now. It’s been tough, it really has. I really don’t check injuries because I don’t know anymore. I just want to know the guys that are playing.”
The guys he had left, like DeAndre Jordan (15 points, 11 rebounds) and Lou Williams (23 points), had to endure the brilliance of Curry, who was 11 for 21 from the field in just 29 minutes, eight for 16 from three-point range and 15 of 16 from the line.
Rivers acknowledged he’s tired of seeing the Clippers get “dominated” by the Warriors.