Chris Paul suffers fracture of third metacarpal in right hand at Portland

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

Any chance the Clippers had of advancing deep into the playoffs took a bit hit Monday when point guard Chris Paul suffered a third metacarpal fracture in his right hand during the third quarter of Game 4 of the Clippers’ first-round playoff series at Portland on Monday night.

Paul scored 16 points and doled our four assists before the injury.

The Clippers took a 2-1 series lead into the game.

VIDEO: DeAndre Jordan air-balls back-to-back free throws in 1st half

DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers had struggled more than usual during the first three games of the Clippers’ first-round playoff series against Portland; he was shooting 35.2 percent (12 of 34). He missed all four of his attempts during the first half of Game 4 on Monday at Portland. Included were these back-to-back air balls that got a real charge out of the host Trail Blazers’ fans. Check it out:

Trail Blazers lead Clippers 47-43 after awful first half by both teams

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

In a rather awful half of basketball, the Portland Trail Blazers took a lead of 47-43 over the Clippers into the break Monday night in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series at Moda Center in Portland.

Chris Paul scored the Clippers’ first 12 points. No other player on the team scored until Jeff Green made the second of two free throws with 2:07 left in the first quarter. Paul led the Clippers with 14 points.

J.J. Redick missed his first six shots and finished with three points on 1 of 7. Blake Griffin also started slowly and ended up with seven points and five rebounds and Green and Jamal Crawford scored 10 and seven points off the bench, respectively.

Al-Farouq Aminu led the Trail Blazers with 13 points, Damian Lillard had nine, Maurice Harkless six, Allen Crabbe six and C.J. McCollum five.

The Clippers shot 33.3 percent from the field, Portland shot 35.7 percent. The Trail Blazers also committed 12 turnovers, quite a bit for a half.

Doc Rivers not thinking about Steph Curry missing two weeks, not with Portland still in the mix

Stephen Curry

Steph Curry of Golden State will miss at least two weeks with a sprained right knee/AP photo by David Phillip

 

The NBA sent out a news release Monday regarding the schedule for the Western Conference semifinals. It says that if the Clippers-Trail Blazers and Golden State-Houston first-round series end in six games or less, the semifinals will start May 1. If either series goes seven games, they will begin May 3.

That means that, either way, Steph Curry of Golden State figures to miss the at least the beginning of the semifinals because he will out at least two weeks with a Grade 1 MCL sprain in his right knee, an injury sustained Sunday in Houston.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers was asked Monday night before his team was to take on the Trail Blazers in Game 4 of their series if it is hard not to do the math on that even though his team is currently dealing with Portland.

“No, it’s pretty easy for me not to do the math,” Rivers said. “We have (Portland’s) Damian Lillard and (C.J.) McCollum in front of us right now, so that math is easy for me. It’s a 2-1 series. … I don’t look that far ahead. I think that would be a foolish thing to do.”

The Warriors lead their series with Houston 3-1.

Jamal Crawford, on film session: ‘You have to see and hear the truth’

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers on Sunday talked about the tough film session they had the day after they lost 96-88 at Moda Center on Saturday in Portland in their first-round playoff series with the Trail Blazers.

Blake Griffin said, “It was a pretty awful film session.” Chris Paul referred to it as “very emotional.”

But they both agreed it was a good thing, at the end of the day. Jamal Crawford concurred at the morning shootaround ahead of Game 4 on Monday night at Moda Center.

“You have to see and hear the truth,” Crawford said. “The camera doesn’t lie, obviously. You have to see the truth.”

Is it tough to take?

“At times,” he said. “But, I mean, it’s the truth, so it’s better for us. As a competitor, you’re line, ‘Dang.’ But it’s much better for us to watch it.”

The Clippers, who lead the series 2-1, led 85-81 with 3:52 to play Saturday before being outscored 15-3.

Doc Rivers not sure if DeAndre Jordan’s poor free-throw shooting is in the front of Jordan’s mind

DeAndre Jordan/AP file photo by Jae C. Hong

 

DeAndre Jordan made only 35.2 percent (12 of 34) of his free throws during the first three games of the Clippers’ first-round playoff series against Portland, which continues Monday night at Moda Center in Portland; the Clippers lead 2-1.

The poor free-throw shooting Jordan has admitted in the past that sometimes it gets in his head. Considering he shot just 43 percent this season and has shot 42.1 percent over his seven-year career, that’s understandable.

Coach Doc Rivers said at the morning shootaround he isn’t sure if that’s happening now.

“I don’t know if it’s in his head or not,” he said. “But I keep saying for him, every game is individual. You’ve seen games down the stretch he’ll make four in a row, where he’s missed nine straight. I wish I had a crystal ball because I literally don’t know going into the game. One thing I do like, he’s still working on them, he’s watching film of his free throws. I mean, he’s doing all the preparation that a good free-throw shooter would do – actually, a good free-throw shooter wouldn’t do because you wouldn’t have to, you know, when you think about it.

“But he’s doing all the right stuff and for me that’s all I can ask as a coach is that he prepares and (does) the right thing.”

Jordan said this is not in the front of his mind.

“No, I mean, I’m fine. It was only tough because we lost,  you know what I mean?” he said of the Clippers’  96-88 Game 3 loss in which he shot just 3 of 10 from the line. “If we would have won, it wouldn’t have been a problem.”