Clippers' Chris Paul aims to be ready for Sacramento Kings

Chris Paul said "I'll be ready" to play Friday night despite a strained right hamstring the Clippers All-Star guard suffered in the third quarter of Wednesday night's game against the New York Knicks.

The Clippers play at Sacramento against the Kings on Friday night.

After the game Wednesday night, Paul said his hamstring was a "little tight."

"But I'll be all right," Paul said. "I'll be ready Friday. I promise you. I'm OK."

There was no update on Paul's injury because the Clippers didn't practice Thursday, having been given Thanksgiving Day off before they left that night for Sacramento.

"Of course, he told me twice already that he'll be ready for Friday," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said about Paul after the game Wednesday. "That doesn't mean it's true. That's just want he said."

If Paul can't play, Darren Collison will be the starting point guard for the Clippers.

"I hope CP is all right," Collison said.

Collison started 219 of the 296 games he played before this season started.

So it wouldn't be that big an issue for the four-year veteran to step in for Paul if needed.

"I've got to be ready," Collison said. "At times like this, when Chris is not all the way healthy, I've got to be able to go out there and do my job. I've been watching Chris for a very, very long time and seen how he's been running the offense and I'm fine with that. For me, it's just relying on my defense and keeping things simple and making sure my teammates get the ball in the right spots."

Clippers face Kings

There seems to be a little something extra when the Clippers and Kings face each other, and no one is expecting anything different Friday night.

The Clippers won by nine points in the first game in Sacramento and by one point Saturday at Staples Center, and that was only after Kings center DeMarcus Cousins missed a potential game-winning shot.

Cousins got a technical foul and exchanged words with Paul in both games. Blake Griffin was assessed a technical in the second game.

Cousins also told his teammates not to shake hands with the Clippers after the last game.

Now the the teams are about to play each other for the fifth time since October, including two exhibition games.

"It just adds more tension to the game," Rivers said. "You know it's going to be a hard game."


Griffin needs 12 points to have 5,000 in his short career. He would become the 24th active NBA player to score at least 5,000 points before the end of his fourth season. … Rivers flew to his off-season home in Orlando, Fla., after Wednesday night's game for Thanksgiving. He'll join the team in Sacramento for Friday's game.


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