On Monday morning, when Clippers’ fans heard Steph Curry was going to be out at least 2 weeks with a MCL injury, they were smelling blood. They were assuming the Curry-less Warriors would still knock the Rockets out of the 1st round, the Clippers would beat the Blazers and then the Clippers would get to eliminate the 73 win Warriors in the 2nd round.
Well, after the Clippers’ Monday night loss to the Blazers in GM4, those fans are smelling fear more than anything else. Fear that they might not even make it to the 2nd round after Chris Paul fractured his hand in the 3rd quarter and Blake Griffin aggravated his quad injury in the 4th.
“Chris is taking this very hard,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s worked all year to get back to the playoffs, and for this to happen to him – he’s a very emotional guy.”
Damian Lillard scored just 12 points in the win but the Blazers got a career-high 30 from Al-Farouq Aminu, 19 from MIP CJ McCollum and an odd double double (2pts/14rebs/10asts) from Mason Plumlee.
“It changes a lot,” Damian Lillard said after tying the series up at 2 apiece. “Their best player goes down. The guy who makes their offense go. It’s unfortunate. You don’t wish that on anybody, but they still have a really good team.”