Slumping Clippers seeking solutions as Griffin hobbles out

LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Clippers are sweating on the fitness of All-Star forward Blake Griffin, who aggravated an ankle injury during a first-round playoff loss to Memphis on Tuesday that leaves the team on the brink of elimination.

Griffin was withdrawn during the third quarter of the 103-93 loss and is now questionable for Game Six tomorrow with the Clippers 3-2 behind in the best-of-seven series.

The Los Angeles big man was originally hurt during a Monday practice when he jumped and landed on the foot of team mate Lamar Odom.

“It’s just an unfortunate thing, a freak accident,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro told reporters following his team’s latest setback in the series.

“As the game went on, (the injury) got worse and worse. He was struggling to move in the third a little bit and that’s when I just pulled the plug.”

Griffin, a dynamic presence known for his highlight dunks, was grounded by the injury and could only manage four points and five rebounds in 20 minutes of action.

Following the game, he said he was not certain whether he would be able to play tomorrow and his physical condition would likely to be limited even if he could.

The Grizzlies have won three consecutive games against Los Angeles to move into the driver’s seat with the penultimate game in Memphis.

Though the outlook appears bleak for the Clippers, they can draw on the experience of last season’s first-round series when they overcame the Grizzlies with a Game Seven triumph in Memphis.

“We’re not going to lay down,” Del Negro added. “We know we have to play better. We need more production from everyone.”


James leads Cavs to sweep of Pacers

(The Sports Xchange) – LeBron James scored 33 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:08 remaining, and Cleveland completed a four-game sweep of Indiana in their NBA playoff opening-round series.

Bahamas crowned basketball champs, Guyana take out Barbados

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, CMC – The Bahamas crowned themselves Caribbean champions when they turned back a resilient Cuba in the final of the regional Basketball Championship here Saturday night.

Road to Mecca begins with wins for Linden, G/town clubs

The ‘Road to Mecca’ began Saturday night at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall with wins for Colts, Retrieve Raiders, Ravens and Kings as the new executive of the Guyana Amateur Basketball federation staged its first tournament a countrywide inter-club affair.

NBA round-up

Masked James leads Heat past Orlando (The Sports Xchange) – Indiana forward Paul George scored 10 points over the final four minutes, 20 seconds as the Pacers, the team with the best record in the NBA, beat the Boston Celtics 102-97.

Heat need rare win streak to keep NBA title hopes alive

SAN ANTONIO, (Reuters) – Stringing together a two-game win streak sounds routine for the reigning champion Miami Heat, but they have failed to do it for more than three weeks and must do so in the NBA Finals or risk losing their crown.

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