CRAWFORD OUT AGAINST LAKERS

Jamal Crawford

LOS ANGELES – Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jamal Crawford will not play Friday night against the Lakers because of a sore left foot.

Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said the injury occurred in the team’s New Year’s Day loss to the Nuggets, and the decision was made as a precaution after Crawford limped through 35 minutes at Golden State on Wednesday. Crawford is currently listed as day-to-day.

“He hurt it in Denver, but because Caron [Butler] obviously missed the Golden State game with some personal reasons [Crawford] gutted it out for us,” Del Negro said. “[We are] just [acting] more on the safe side. He’s had therapy. He’s had X-rays. He’s going to get some more scans tomorrow and make sure we’re not missing anything.”

Crawford scored 24 points against the Warriors, but said he may have caused the injury to worsen by playing through it.

“It’s probably best to just sit out the next day or two and go from there,” a somewhat despondent Crawford said prior to the game. “I hurt it in Denver and I felt it before halftime, but the adrenaline’s going and you want to pull through. That night when we got to Oakland I got treatment and all the next day I got treatment.

“You hate to miss a game like this (against the Lakers), but in the big picture it’s probably smarter to rest it.”

While the foot injury occurred prior to halftime, Crawford thinks the root of the problem may have been his shoes. “I think it has to do with my shoes,” Crawford said. “I’ve worn the same shoes since we met in September. Maybe I’m superstitious.

“I wore them at home and on the road. And I couldn’t even really feel them. They were flimsy and dirty and looked pretty beat up, but they were comfortable.”

Crawford, who is averaging a league-high 16.5 points per game off the bench, missed three of the final four games of last season with a knee injury when he was with the Portland Trail Blazers. He had yet to miss a game during his first season with the Clippers.

Matt Barnes and Eric Bledsoe are expected to log heavier minutes Friday with the Clippers’ vaunted depth depleted by injury. In addition to Crawford, Grant Hill (knee), Chauncey Billups (foot) and Trey Thompkins (knee) remain out, and Lamar Odom is expected to play although he is nursing soreness in both ankles.

“The beauty of our team is the depth we have,” Crawford said. “We have a lot of faith and confidence in everybody.”