Griffin hurt; Clippers hang on to beat Lakers
LOS ANGELES (AP):
The Clippers' third win in a row for the first time since opening the season 4-0 came at a price.
Blake Griffin fell down under the basket and clutched his left knee with 3:53 left in a 120-115 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.
The team said he's day-to-day. A grim-faced Griffin dressed and left the locker room without speaking to reporters.
"It didn't look good, obviously," coach Doc Rivers said.
Griffin was going for a loose ball in the paint with teammate Austin Rivers and Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball. It appeared Rivers fell on Griffin, whose knee got twisted as he landed on his back. Griffin got up, but soon left the game and the court.
"Lonzo knocked someone into Blake and it was a trigger effect," the elder Rivers said. "Blake said he was OK. Then he just couldn't move. He's hoping it was just a bang."
The Clippers are already missing three key players, including guard Patrick Beverley, who is out for the season after having right-knee surgery last week. Forward Danilo Gallinari and guard Milos Teodosic are hurt, too.
Lou Williams scored a season-high 42 points, helping the Clippers rally from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to earn their 11th straight home victory against their Staples Center co-tenant.
"He saved us," Rivers said. "We needed every point Lou gave us."
Griffin added 26 points and 11 rebounds.
The elder Rivers and Williams both thought Griffin got fouled on the play.
"The referees acknowledged he got hit," Williams said. "But I guess there were some other things that went on during that play."
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit an open 18-footer that left the Lakers trailing 116-115 with 48 seconds to go.
Williams answered with a layup before Brandon Ingram missed a corner jumper for the Lakers. Williams got fouled and made both, completing a 14 of 14 free throw performance that closed out the game.
"That was a gutty win for us," Rivers said.
Pope led the Lakers with 29 points. Ingram and Jordan Clarkson added 17 points each.
Ball finished with three points on 1 of 7 shooting for the Lakers, who were coming off a four-day break after dropping six of nine games. Ball returned for the game's final five minutes, tossing the ball out of bounds and missing two 3-pointers.
Other results on Monday: Cleveland 113 Philadelphia 91; Indiana 121 Orlando 109; Detroit 118 Boston 108; Portland 103 New York 91; Houston 117 Brooklyn 103; San Antonio 115 Dallas 108; L.A. Clippers 120 L.A. Lakers 115; Sacramento 110 Golden State 106.
Today's games: Oklahoma City at Orlando; Phoenix at Detroit; Washington at Philadelphia; Charlotte at Toronto; Miami at New York; Indiana at Houston; Minnesota at New Orleans; Brooklyn at Dallas; Memphis at San Antonio; Golden State at LA Lakers.