Chris Paul

Clippers Lose Game Four, Chris Paul Breaks Hand

Chris Paul left the game in the third quarter and did not return.

On Monday night, the Los Angeles Clippers lost Chris Paul to a broken hand before losing Blake Griffin to a quadricep injury en route to losing Game Four of their first round NBA Playoffs series against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers won 98-84. The series is now tied at 2-2.

Paul left the game seven seconds shy of midway through the third quarter and did not return. Officially, he suffered a third metacarpal fracture, which amounted to a broken right hand. Based on a hand being a requirement of playing basketball, Paul's return to the team this postseason would be improbable, at best.

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Griffin pulled out of the game with a quadricep injury. He tried to play through it, but he could not run and left the game 11 serconds past the midway point in the quarter, as he simply could not go. He watched from the bench, as the Clippers wilted and failed to put up a final push and even challenge the Blazers at the end. Portland led the game wire-to-wire to the victory.

Incidentally, Paul was the only Clippers' player visible at the start of the game. The 30-year-old out of Wake Forest hit his first six shots, as his Clippers' teammates started the contest 0-12. Without Paul, the game could have effectively ended in the first quarter.

Instead, the Clippers only trailed by four points after 12 minutes.

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The Blazers started strong behind Al-Farouq Aminu, who had 10 points, four rebounds and three blocks in the firrst quarter. Aminu had a special night and finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks.

The Blazers' killer backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 31 points with McCollum leading the duo in scoring with 19 points, while Lillard led the backcourt in passing with six assists.

Mason Plumlee continued to impress with his second consecutive all-around game, as the center contributed 14 rebounds and 10 assists but only two points. The big man also recorded four blocks in the victory.

If Paul's injury is as grave as feared, then Griffin's injury is just adding the insult. As it stands, the Clippers being level at 2-2 in the series is the least of their concerns. Game Five is at Staples Center on Wednesday.

Notes: Off the bench, Jeff Green scored 17 points, which was tied with Griffin for team-high honors. Portland's Allen Crabbe hit all five of his shots for 12 points off Portland's bench.

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