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Chris Paul kicked squarely off the floor and under the Clippers' bench as their one-man engine left Monday's game with a fractured third metacarpal in his right hand.
There was a devastating blow for the Clippers on a night they got blown out by the Portland Trail Blazers, 98-84, to even a first-round playoff series at two games each.
Forward Blake Griffin experienced soreness in the left quadriceps tendon that had sidelined him for over 3 months, and shooting guard J.J. Redick's bruised left heel continued to be a game-long issue.
However, Griffin returned to the game briefly in the fourth quarter but was hobbling and quickly departed. He said he hurt the quad in the third quarter while being fouled by Portland's Mason Plumlee and would be reevaluated Tuesday.
The Trail Blazers outsmarted the Clippers, 32-20, in the fourth quarter for their second consecutive victory in a wildly vacillating series. Game 5 is Wednesday night at Staples Center.
Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu ensured there would be a Game 6 back here Friday, shaking off his series-long shooting slump to score 30 points on 11-for-20 accuracy.
The Clippers trailed by 6 points when Paul left the game and were within 66-64 entering the fourth quarter after Jeff Green's three-pointer beat the buzzer to end the third quarter. Paul scored the Clippers' first 12 points and finished with 16 points and 4 assists in 24 minutes.
Redick's heel seems to be regressing as the series deepens. He had 17 points in each of the first two games but turned in another clunker Monday, making three of 13 shots scoring eight points.