Dunleavy said that Tim Thomas (groin) is getting close to returning to the court, but that Marcus Camby (heel) didn’t respond as well to yesterday’s practice and might miss a little more time.

Dunleavy was optimistic that all three injured players (Baron Davis, Thomas and Camby) would be ready to go for the season opener on October 29, though we’ll know more about the extent of Baron Davis’ finger injury on Monday.

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What sore finger?

Paul Davis just made a nice catch and finish off of a slick pass from Cuttino Mobley early on here in the Clippers exhibition game against the Toronto Raptors. Why is this surprising?

Well, before the game we were chatting with Davis about how painful his sprained right pinkie finger is. It’s a second degree sprain, which by definition is a partial ligament tear. Davis said it’s extremely painful, despite his heavy tape job. But the only way for it to heal is with rest, and Davis doesn’t want to go back down that road again.

“I’m through with all that,” Davis said, gesturing to his surgically repaired right knee. “I’m just going to play through it.”

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Baron Davis update

Baron Davis came to tonight’s exhibition home opener dressed in street clothes, with his sprained right index finger heavily taped. He will not play in either of this weekend’s exhibition games.

I asked how it felt compared to other sprains he’s had and Baron said fairly tersely, “like a sprain.”

“It’s unfortunate, with the timing of everybody getting hurt not being able to play,” Davis said. “I think situations like this forces other guys to step up and we can see what we can get from other guys.”

Davis is scheduled to see a hand specialist on Monday and said he hopes to get back sometime next week. He injured the finger by falling awkwardly on his hand during practice on Friday.

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Baron Davis out again

Baron Davis won’t play in either exhibition game Saturday or Sunday due to a sprained left ring finger suffered in practice. X-rays taken Friday were negative, an MRI was inconclusive. He will be further evaluated on Monday.

Davis missed the Clippers two exhibitions earlier in the week with the flu.

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Catching up with the Clips

Ah, so that’s why the Clippers were so high on rookie guard Eric Gordon.

After being hobbled by an ankle injury during the first two weeks of training camp, the rookie from Indiana whom the Clippers took with the seventh-overall pick in the NBA draft poured in 33 points including six 3-pointers in the Clippers comeback victory over the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night.

“I was just in a rhythm most of the game,” Gordon said. “I had a lot of opportunities to score and I was hitting my shots. We didn’t have too many of our players (only 11 of the 16 players on the roster played) so somebody had to step up and take charge.”

Gordon did that and then some, hitting 11 of the 24 shots he took in 31 minutes off the bench. He also sunk the go-ahead free throws with 1:42 to play as the Clippers rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit.

The win pushed the Clippers preseason record to a perfect 3-0, which made the long trip home from Stockton and early morning wake-up call for practice and then a golf event with season-ticket holders down at the Trump National Golf Club in Palos Verdes quite a bit more pleasant.

“I think it just shows what we as a team are capable of doing,” Gordon said.

Fellow rookie guard Mike Taylor had another standout game, with 21 points and nine assists. With Baron Davis home with the flu, Taylor, Gordon and Jason Hart played the bulk of the minutes at point guard.

It’s not the role the Clippers envision for Gordon, but one they’re happy he can play if the situation calls for it.

“I like to play the point,” said Gordon, who played point guard in high school. “I like to play at a faster tempo. And with my size, there aren’t a lot of point guards who are as big as I am.”

Also: Davis (flu), forward Tim Thomas (groin) and center Marcus Camby (heel) all sat out the two-game trip to Oklahoma City and Sacramento. Thomas said he’s feeling better, but didn’t want to rush back and do more damage to the injury.

“That’s not what’s important right now,” Thomas said of the exhibition games. “Right now the most important thing is gelling with all the new players on this team because I think we can be very good.”

Davis also attended the golf event. He wore a scarf around his neck to try and stay warm as temperatures at the golf course got chilly by evening, but said he was feeling better.

The Clippers next play the Toronto Raptors Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm. as part of a round-robin shootout with the Lakers and the Spanish club FC Barcelona.

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No Baron tonight

Just got word that Baron Davis will miss tonight’s exhibition game in Stockton against the Sacramento Kings. He’s still feeling the effects of the flu.

Marcus Camby (heel) and Tim Thomas (groin) are also out. DeAndre Jordan didn’t play in last night’s win in Oklahoma City, but I’m told he was dressed and available if called upon.

Don’t be surprised if players who played extended minutes last night take a backseat tonight as coach Mike Dunleavy said earlier in the week that he’d probably limit playing time for his veterans because of the back-to-back situation.

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