GRANGER TO MISS REMAINDER OF TRIP
HOUSTON – A day after straining his left hamstring, Danny Granger returned to Los Angeles to get treatment, according to Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.
“We sent him back home to get treatment,” Rivers said. “So, he’s not playing tonight [against the Rockets].”
He will not play in the final three games of the Clippers’ five-game road trip that ends Apr. 2 in Phoenix.
Granger, who made his Clippers’ debut on Mar. 4, has scored in double figures six times in 13 games since signing days after being bought out by the Philadelphia 76ers.
He got hurt on Thursday when he drove left and got hit in the air by Vince Carter, contorting his body before falling along the baseline.
“I just felt I pulled it a little bit,” said Granger as he sat at his locker with a bag of ice wrapped around the middle of his left leg after the Clippers’ 109-103 win at Dallas. “[Carter] hit me and spun me sideways and felt I pulled it a little bit.”
He did not seem worried at the time, saying that he had some pain but was able to walk and that it felt “strong.” But the Clippers (51-22) are taking a cautious approach. Granger has supplanted Jared Dudley recently as the first small forward off the bench and has played at least 15 minutes in seven of the last nine games.
The injury is a setback, however, for a player that is still trying to get integrated on the fly with a new team.
“I’m just trying [to get assimilated],” Granger said. “And then the hamstring… it is what it is.”
Dudley is expected to take the bulk of the minutes in reserve of starter Matt Barnes. Dudley had not appeared in a game for longer than 15 seconds since Mar. 4, coincidentally the day Granger played with the Clippers for the first time, but saw time alongside Granger in some single big-man lineups in two of the last three games.
He made 3-pointers in both appearances, something that may bode well now that his playing time will likely be more consistent with Granger sidelined.
“He’s playing better and we’re going to need it,” Rivers said of Dudley. “You always have to be ready. It’s a long season. That’s what I always talk about. Sometimes you’ll play, sometimes you won’t. Sometimes one guy goes down, another guy steps up. Sometimes another guy struggles, someone else steps in. You’ve just got to be a professional.”