Chris Paul breaks hand as Trailblazers even series with Clippers

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error It’s why the Clippers shouldn’t have taken the news of Curry’s injury with any reaction whatsoever.Sunday, Curry landed awkwardly after slipping on a wet inch of Honda Center floor. He received a MRI Monday and while a serious tear wasn’t discovered, the team announced Curry would be re-evaluated in two weeks.For roughly nine hours, the path to the conference finals looked slightly more manageable. Then, Paul reached in for a steal and hit his hand on Gerald Henderson’s arm.The injury eerily matches a string of envents that led to the Clippers’ most recent first-round exit almost three years to the date.In the 2013 playoffs, the Clippers faced the No. 5-seeded Memphis Grizzlies, and after winning two games at home, they lost Game 3 on the road. PORTLAND >> Maybe it’s a step on a wet spot on the court. Maybe it’s an ill-timed reach. Everything about the NBA playoffs can change in an instant, on a single play, and in the last 48 hours, it truly has.One day after Golden State lost guard Stephen Curry to a knee sprain, the Clippers lost Chris Paul to a third metacarpal fracture on his right hand.The third metacarpal connects the middle finger to the wrist.In the third quarter of the team’s 98-84 loss to the Portland Trailblazers, Paul went to the bench with a look of frustration and disappointment on his face, and after a meeting with team trainer Jasen Powell, he marched back to the locker room clearly upset.center_img Before Game 4, the Clippers got what seemed like some fortunate news. Oklahoma City would be without star point guard Russell Westbrook, severely handicapping the West’s No. 1 seed in the second round.But, the Clippers never got there. The offense faltered, the Clippers got blown out in the fourth, and lost the series in six games. Even stranger, the team lost one of its stars in fluke fashion.Before Game 5 of that series, Blake Griffin severely sprained his right ankle after landing on Lamar Odom’s foot in practice.Griffin couldn’t play more than 20 minutes in either of the series’ last two games, scoring just 13 points combined.Before he got injured Monday, Paul carried the Clippers through a disasterours first quarter. While the rest of his teammates shot 18 percent from the field in the opening 12 minutes, Paul made six shots in a row to keep his team within four.Paul cooled down, but the Clippers stayed within range. In the moments before Paul exited the game, J.J. Redick missed a pair of open 3’s that would’ve tied the game for the first time since 0-0, but both rimmed out.Al-Farouq Aminu hit one of his six 3’s, and the Moda Center erupted, unaware that Paul was about to walk off the court and, perhaps, out of the postseason.The Clippers’ fate without Paul has yet to be written, but even getting to face the Warriors in the second round is now much less than a certainty.The series is tied at 2-2. The Clippers are without a star. That easier path to the conference finals? Well, it just closed.And, somehow, the Clippers are going to have to figure out a way to keep history from repeating itself.last_img read more