Clippers' All-Star duo ruled out for the season

LOS ANGELES • Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul faces an indefinite injury lay-off with a broken hand while Blake Griffin will miss the rest of the season, the National Basketball Association team announced on Tuesday.

A statement on the Clippers website said Paul, who broke his hand against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, had undergone surgery to repair the fracture.

"Paul will be out indefinitely," the Clippers said in an injury update.

Another statement on the Clippers website said the guard would be re-evaluated in four to six weeks - a lay-off which could mean the 30-year-old's season is over.

The injury to Paul is a devastating blow to the Clippers' hopes of mounting a sustained play-off challenge.

With Paul off the court on Monday, the Portland Trail Blazers roared back to claim a 98-84 victory and level the series at 2-2.

  • -142

  • The Clippers' point differential this season when both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are off the court.

The gloomy medical bulletin worsened for the Clippers with confirmation that fellow All-Star Griffin will miss the rest of the season.

The power forward aggravated a quadriceps tendon injury which forced him to miss 41 games earlier this season.

He felt a tweak in the muscle after being fouled by Portland's Mason Plumlee during the third quarter of Monday's game. An MRI on Tuesday revealed no further structural damage to the area - but Griffin's season is over.

Griffin and Paul have been vital for the Clippers this season. When the team's two most influential players are on court, they have conjured up a +259 point differential for the team, compared to -142 when they are both off court.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the team would somehow seek to shrug off the double injury blow ahead of their crucial Game 5 in Los Angeles this morning (Singapore time).

"We don't have to be the best team. We just have to be the best team tomorrow," said Rivers, whose third-leading scorer after Blake (21.4 points per game) and Paul (19.5) is guard J.J. Redick (16.3). "And then we have to figure out how to do it one more time."

Portland point guard Damian Lillard warned his team-mates against complacency now that they will be facing a weakened Clippers team.

"It's unfortunate for one of the better players in the league to go through an injury like that. You don't wish that on anybody," he said. "It's not like they have guys who can't play. They still have a really good team.

"Our mindset has to be, nothing changes. We have to have the same approach defensively and continue to trust each other offensively."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2016, with the headline 'Clippers' All-Star duo ruled out for the season'. Print Edition | Subscribe