Coming off the biggest victory of their dismal season, the Los Angeles Clippers must deal with another injury to one of their top players.
A 93-91 home win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday could be the most memorable moment during a woeful season for the Clippers (15-43).
“It was one of those games that you cherish,” said Los Angeles guard Baron Davis, who had 16 points.
Considering the way things have gone for Los Angeles, it’s not surprising the victory came with a snag.
Gordon, who’s averaging 15.1 points and was the only Clipper to play in all 58 games, left early in the third quarter with a bruised left shoulder. According to the team’s official Web site, the guard has been ruled out for this contest.
The injury is another blow to a Los Angeles team that likely will miss the playoffs for the third straight season. Various injuries and suspensions have already forced Zach Randolph to miss 21 games, Davis 14 and Marcus Camby 13.
Veteran forward Chris Kaman has not played since Nov. 26, and is still a couple of weeks away from returning from a foot injury. Starting forward Al Thornton (foot) is a game-time decision after missing the last three contests.
Randolph had 30 points with 12 rebounds and Camby added 14 and 11 boards Wednesday for the Clippers, who took advantage of Kevin Garnett’s absence from the Boston lineup to outscore the Celtics 56-22 in the paint.
The Clippers didn’t look like the same club that allowed Phoenix to reach 140 points in both ends of a home-and-home set last week. Los Angeles forced 21 turnovers and held the Celtics to 19 fourth-quarter points.
“It tells us we can beat anyone,” Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. “It really shows that we can compete.”
Randolph has 57 points and 23 rebounds in two games since returning from a two-game suspension for hitting Phoenix’s Louis Amundson in the face with an open hand.
Randolph is averaging 22.4 points and 9.5 rebounds in 23 games since being traded from New York.
Camby had 15 points and 24 rebounds in the Clippers’ 92-90 loss at Sacramento on Dec. 30, in the teams’ most recent meeting.
While the Kings (12-47) won both games this season against the Clippers by a combined seven points, they’ve lost three in a row overall despite adding seven new players at last week’s trade deadline.
Kevin Martin scored 27 points and newcomer Drew Gooden had 12 and 13 rebounds in Sacramento’s 98-91 home loss to Charlotte on Wednesday. Owners of the NBA’s worst record, the Kings trailed by 14 at halftime and lost for the 17th time in their last 19 games.
“It’s the same thing all over again—digging a hole for ourselves,” said Kings coach Kenny Natt, whose team has lost four in a row at home.
After missing Sacramento’s 103-98 win over Los Angeles with a sprained ankle on Nov. 12, Martin had 20 points against the Clippers in December.