Chris Paul strains hamstring in Clippers’ win

Chris Paul had 15 points with seven assists and five rebounds before exiting the game in the third quarter because of injury. The Clippers defeated the New York Knicks, 93-80.
(Danny Moloshok / Associated Press)

Chris Paul suffered a strained right hamstring late in the third quarter of the Clippers’ game against the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.

The All-Star point guard didn’t return to play in the game after he went to the locker room, but the Clippers went on to a 93-80 victory at Staples Center.

The Clippers didn’t comment on Paul’s status, but he was optimistic.

“I told Doc, ‘If you need me, I can go,’” Paul said of Coach Doc Rivers. “It’s a little tight, but I’ll be all right. I’ll be ready Friday.”

The Clippers play at the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

Paul knew something was wrong.

“I know my body well enough now to where if I feel something , I look over at our trainer and I was like, ‘Get me out for a second. Let me see what’s going on,’” Paul said.


Paul’s replacement, Darren Collison, and sixth man Jamal Crawford did their part to make sure the Clippers won their third consecutive game.

The Clippers also played good defense, limiting the Knicks to 38.6% shooting for the game.

Paul finished with 15 points on four-for-nine shooting, seven assists and five rebounds.

Collison had nine points and two assists and Crawford had 13 points, eight in the fourth quarter.

And despite foul trouble that limited him to 36 minutes, Blake Griffin had 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Paul left the game with 3:19 left in the third quarter. He stayed in the locker room area and continued to test the hamstring by running some to see if he could return.

With about 2:25 left in the game and the Clippers leading, 90-78, Paul returned to the court with his right hamstring wrapped up with ice on his injury. He sat and watched the rest of the game.

With Paul out, the Clippers built a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, their biggest margin of the game, and that was more than enough to hold off the Knicks.

The Clippers not only had to deal with the high-scoring Carmelo Anthony, but a struggling Knicks team on a six-game losing streak that was badly in need of a win.

Anthony, who came in averaging 26.5 points a game, finished with 27 points, but only eight in the second half. He made nine of 23 shots from the field.

Andrea Bargnani had 20 points for the Knicks, who also got starting point guard Raymond Felton back after he missed the last four games with a sore lower back and a left hip injury.

Felton finished with 12 points and seven assists.

When Griffin picked up his second foul in the first quarter, Antawn Jamison got the call to play. When Griffin picked up his third foul late in the second quarter, Jamison returned to the game.

It was the second consecutive game for Jamison after he didn’t play in the first 14 games. He wound up playing 16 minutes and scored six points.

Twitter: @BA_Turner