Reporting from Cleveland -- Power forward Kenyon Martin played in his first game with the Clippers on Wednesday night and his presence was felt right away.
He scored, he blocked shots, he rebounded and he was a force.
Martin had six points on three-for-seven shooting. He had four rebounds, three offensive, one that turned into a two-handed dunk. He also blocked two shots, all in 20 minutes 12 seconds against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“It felt good to be back out there, get my legs up under me and get up and down the court,” said Martin, who signed a free-agent contract with the Clippers on Friday. “It’s a great feeling. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the win, but it’s good to be back out there.”
After Blake Griffin was shoved hard by Samardo Samuels after an offensive rebound, a shove that knocked down the Clippers forward , Martin shoved Samuels and got a technical foul.
“I always have my teammate’s back, no matter what,” Martin said. “I thought it was a dirty play. He pulled him out of the air. So I’m always going to have his back. If they put the same jersey I put on every night, you ain’t got to worry about nothing.”
Martin had last played Dec. 21 with the Xinjiang Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Assn. Martin had 13 points on six-for-12 shooting and nine rebounds in 29 minutes.
“I ain’t lost it, I just ain’t been here,” Martin said. “They just ain’t seen me. I still know how to play the game. They’ve got to get used to seeing me again.”
Chauncey Billups to consult specialist
Chauncey Billups attended the Clippers’ shootaround in the morning, his teammates wishing him well after learning his season is over because of a torn left Achilles’ tendon.
Coach Vinny Del Negro said Billups traveled after practice to Los Angeles, where he will see a specialist Thursday.
Del Negro said that Billups and the team then can determine when the veteran guard will have surgery.
“We’ll get a game plan together,” Del Negro said.
Billups was injured in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ overtime win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night.
Eric Bledsoe is on the mend
Second-year guard Eric Bledsoe said he hopes to play before the Clippers end their six-game trip.
Bledsoe tweaked his right knee, the same on which he had off-season surgery for torn cartilage. He sat out the first 16 games while recovering from the injury, joined the team for two games and was injured again.
The Clippers play at Charlotte on Saturday and at Dallas on Monday.
“I m trying to make sure it’s 100% ready,” Bledsoe said. “I know I have the confidence to go out there and play.”