Notebook: Griffin, Rivers Injury Update; Lawler Game 3,000
LOS ANGELES – Blake Griffin, who was questionable entering Saturday’s game, sat out with a sore right knee.
Griffin and Raymond Felton (family reasons) both missed the matchup against the Pelicans, but are expected back Monday against Portland.
“It’s just really nothing big,” said head coach Doc Rivers, who added that the Clippers are being more careful with everyone this year.
Rivers said if there’s a question, the Clippers aren’t going to take any chances. It’s the second missed game this year for Griffin, who got a night to rest earlier this year against Brooklyn.
Griffin posted 27 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in his first matchup against New Orleans a week ago.
“It’s not that big of a deal, we just feel like it’s a long season,” Rivers said. “We did that last year, to be honest. But, now we have even more data to do it.”
“There are going to be nights where guys aren’t happy about not playing, and that’s really good, when you think about it. But this is the smart thing to do.”
Unfortunately for the Clippers, their injury report got a little longer by game's end. Austin Rivers took an inadvertent elbow to the face, and after going back to the locker room in the fourth quarter to be evaluated, he was diagnosed with a mild concussion.
“That blow obviously had a late effect," Doc Rivers said. "He passed all the tests, then right when he went on the floor, you knew something was wrong. When I saw him grab his head because of the noise, you knew something was wrong, and we got him out quick.”
When he reached 2,000 career broadcasts, Ralph Lawler never dreamed of 3,000. The same was true when he called game No. 2,500.
But this past summer, he knew the mark was in reach, and Saturday night against the Pelicans, Lawler hit the mark broadcasting his 3,000th career regular season NBA game.
“I actually went and did a count to see if it was going to happen this year and thought, “Well, that’s worth hanging around for,” Lawler said before the game. “It’s something I’ve kind of had in the back of my mind because Rod Hundley, a longtime broadcaster with Utah, reached 3,000 a number of years ago and I did, like many other broadcasters, a tribute to him.
“I thought, ‘Man, that’s a lot of ballgames.’ It was always kind of, ‘Wouldn’t that be great,’ but I thought there’s no way. It’s pretty cool to have done it, I’ve got to admit. I don’t normally think about those kind of numbers, but this one does stand out.”
It was fitting, then, that for Lawler’s 3,000th game, the Clippers honored the legendary broadcaster by doing the same thing, with a tribute from broadcasters from around the league, who reached out to send their congratulations in a videoboard segment after the first quarter.