LOS ANGELES – In a season that has been consistently marred by injuries, the last man standing for the Clippers is the latest to sit.
It is the first game that Jordan will miss because of injury in his 10-year career, all with the Clippers. Jordan, a first-time All-Star last season, averages 11.8 points per game on 66.1 percent shooting and leads the Clippers with 14.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.
Coach Doc Rivers doesn’t think Jordan has a serious injury, but the team wanted to be safe.
“He wanted to play, I can tell you that today,” Rivers said.
Jordan was injured on one of his highlight alley-oop finishes, catching a Lou Williams lob with one hand and finishing over Kings power forward Skal Labissiere. But Jordan failed to stick the landing, coming down awkwardly on the side of his left foot and staying down for the next defensive possession. Jordan exited the game with 5:07 left in the first half and was ruled out for the second half.
He has missed games because of coach’s decision, illness and rest, but never because of injury before Saturday. The last time Jordan didn’t play was on March 16 at Denver, the second night of a back-to-back.
Doc Rivers said Willie Reed would start in Jordan’s place against the Kings. Reed will be the 16th player to start a game this season for the Clippers, and LA will be using its league-leading 21st starting lineup of the season.
The Clippers (20-21) have had to deal with various injuries to all of their opening-night starters this season. Forward Blake Griffin and guard Milos Teodosic just returned from injuries Thursday, while forward Danilo Gallinari (glute) and guard Patrick Beverley (knee surgery, out for season) remain out. Guard Austin Rivers is also out due to an ankle issue, while two-way contract wing C.J. Williams is out with a sprained ankle suffered in a win at Golden State on Wednesday.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Doc Rivers said about the injuries. “As a coach or a player, never seen anything like this.”