J.J. Redick and bruised heel good to go for Game 1 against Blazers

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Clippers guard J.J. Redick will start Sunday night when the Clippers take on the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series at Staples Center.

Redick sustained a bruised left heel during the second quarter of this past Tuesday’s 110-84 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center. Redick was then rested for the final regular-season game Wednesday at Phoenix.

Coach Doc Rivers said that it was beneficial to the team that its series did not start until Sunday, rather than Saturday, because it gave Redick an extra day.

Clippers hopeful J.J. Redick can play in Game 1 against Portland

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


When Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick sustained a bruised heel during the second quarter of Tuesday night’s 110-84 victory over Memphis at Staples Center, it carried extra meaning.

For one, it meant he would not get a chance to break his franchise record of 200 made 3-pointers in a season first set in 2014-15 and equaled this season. Redick tied the record with three 3-point baskets Tuesday, but his injury prevented him from playing in the second half. He then sat out Wednesday’s regular-season finale at Phoenix.

Also, the injury put into doubt his availability for Sunday’s Game 1 against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. According to a team spokesman, Redick is getting treatment and staying off the heel as much as possible and is hopeful he will play Sunday.

Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. (on TNT).

Clippers’ Wesley Johnson says matchup with Portland will be ‘tough’

Wesley Johnson

Wesley Johnson/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that when the Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers square off in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, the backcourt matchup featuring the Clippers’ Chris Paul and J.J. Redick and Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum figures to loom large in deciding the outcome.

Clippers small forward Wesley Johnson is concerned about Lillard and McCollum, among other things.

“It’s going to be a tough matchup,” Johnson said. “Dame (Lillard) and C.J. are playing really well. They show different lineups and their bigs crash a lot on the offensive boards. We have to take them out of what they like to do.”

Game 1 is Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center (on TNT).



Clippers will have their hands full with Portland’s Damian Lillard

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) passes the ball over Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) as center Nikola Jokic (15) closes in during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, April 13, 2016.

Damian Lillard of Portland passes the ball over Denver’s Nikola Jokic, left, and Emmanuel Mudiay during Portland’s 107-99 victory over the Nuggets on Wednesday night in Portland/AP photo by Steve Dykes


Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers make up one of the NBA’s top guard tandems. But make no mistake, point guard Lillard is the main straw in that drink.

The Clippers know that, and they will be hard-pressed to contain Lillard when the teams tangle in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, beginning Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center. Clippers reserve guard Austin Rivers intimated his team gets what it’s up against.

“They can score the ball,” Rivers said. “They’ve got one of the best players in the game – Damian Lillard. We’re going to have our hands full with him and they have a really good cast around him, so we’ve really got to try to slow him down and make them defend us.”

Lillard is averaging 25.1 points – sixth in the league – 6.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds. McCollum is averaging 20.7 points.

The Clippers’ two starting guards – Chris Paul and J.J. Redick – average 19.5 and 16.3 points, respectively. Paul averages 10.0 assists, fourth in the league. Redick shot 47.5 percent (200 of 421) from 3-point range.

The Clippers, the No. 4 seed, finished the regular season 53-29. The fifth-seeded Trail Blazers went 44-38.



Four of five starters will not play in Clippers’ regular-season finale

J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick has a bruised left heel/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


Several Clippers will not play in the regular-season finale at Phoenix on Wednesday night. Resting will be starters Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick and sixth-man Jamal Crawford, who also rested in Tuesday’s 110-84 victory over Memphis at Staples Center.

Chances are Redick would not have played anyway because he sustained a bruised left heel during the second quarter Tuesday. Afterward, coach Doc Rivers said, “We hope that it is not that serious, but we do not really know.”

A team spokesman on Wednesday afternoon said there was still no word on Redick, who was to get checked out in the morning.

The starting lineup at Phoenix will feature forwards Luc Mbah a Moute and Jeff Green, center Cole Aldrich and guards Austin Rivers and Pablo Prigioni.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 110-84 victory over Memphis

The Clippers' Paul Pierce, left, is elbowed in the face by Memphis' Xavier Munford during Tuesday's game at Staples Center. The Clippers won 110-84. 
Mark J. Terrill - The Associated Press

Clippers forward Paul Pierce takes an elbow to the face from Memphis’ Xavier Munford during Tuesday’s 110-84 Clippers’ victory/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill


– In winning their sixth game in a row and 10th in 11, the Clippers once again displayed a solid defense. The short-handed Grizzlies were held to 40.7 percent shooting, 25 percent (5 of 20) from 3-point range. The Clippers have allowed an average of only 87.2 points over their past five games.

Blake Griffin scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds, doled out four assists and made three steals in his fifth game back after missing the previous 45 with injuries and a four-game suspension. He played only 23 minutes and 16 seconds because none of the starters had to play in the fourth quarter. Those numbers are not too shabby at all.

J.J. Redick made three 3-point baskets in the first half to take him to 200 for the season. That tied his franchise record set in 2014-15. Unfortunately, a bruised left heel sustained in the second quarter meant he would not have a chance to break the record as he did not return. Coach Doc Rivers said after the game he wasn’t sure how serious the injury is. But he did say Redick, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Griffin – all starters – and sixth-man Jamal Crawford would be kept back from traveling to Wednesday night’s regular-season finale at Phoenix. If that holds true, Redick will have to wait until next season to try and surpass his record.

– The victory over Memphis means the Clippers will play either Portland or Dallas in the first round of the playoffs, which begin this weekend. The Grizzlies, who have clinched a playoff spot, needed to beat the Clippers and then win at Golden State on Wednesday in order to have a chance at playing the Clippers. As it stands, if Portland wins at home against Denver on Wednesday night, the Clippers will play the Trail Blazers. If Portland loses and Dallas beats San Antonio at home, then it will be the Mavericks.

– The Clippers had good numbers across the board in this one. They shot 54.7 percent from the field, 48 percent (12 of 25) from beyond the arc. They also had 29 assists, 11 steals and seven blocks. The Clippers committed just nine turnovers and shot 76.2 percent from the free-throw line; they shot 69.2 percent for the season.