PAUL SPRAINS THUMB IN FINAL SECONDS VS. GRIZZLIES

MEMPHIS – Chris Paul sat at his locker after the Clippers’ 102-96 loss to the Grizzlies alternating between fiddling with his injured right thumb and squeezing his wrist in what seemed like an attempt to ease any throbbing pain he was feeling.

Paul sprained his thumb in the final seconds Friday as he tried to swat the ball away from Marc Gasol after the Grizzlies big man grabbed an offensive rebound on Memphis’ final possession.

“On that last rebound that Gasol had,” Paul said. “I got caught reaching.”

Paul immediately started shaking his right hand after the play, hunching over as Gasol headed to the free throw line with 13.2 seconds remaining. He was clearly frustrated, not only with a second loss of the season to one of their most heated rivals, but due to what could be a minor setback to progress he’s made since returning from a separated shoulder on Feb. 9.

That injury cost him 18 games and he is still working his way back. He is listed as day-to-day and will be evaluated further on Saturday. The Clippers play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday in game two of their three-game road trip through the mid-south. He is expected to play.

Paul had 18 points with 14 assists and six rebounds but shot just 4-of-13 from the field Friday, marking a second game in a row that he’s struggled shooting the ball. He went 5-for-23 in the past two games combined and the career 47.2 percent shooter said it is difficult not to get frustrated.

“It’s tough,” Paul said. “It’s coming around. I just want to win so whatever I have to do to help us win, I’m with it.”