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NBA West: Banged Up Lakers Trio, Clippers Lose to Hornets

Optimism had been running high for a Tuesday return but the LA Lakers announced on Monday that injured players Steve Nash and Steve Blake did not get the green light to go against the Indiana Pacers.

Meanwhile, teammate Pau Gasol plans to continue playing through his tendinitis.

As for that other LA team, on Monday, the New Orleans Hornets ended their seven-game losing streak with a win against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Nash, Blake Remain Out

Lakers guard Steve Nash

On Monday, LA Lakers reporter Mike Trudell fueled the media beast with the tweet, “Neither Steve Blake (strained abdomen) or Steve Nash (leg) will play tomorrow vs. Indy. Neither practiced, both received treatment.”

Nash did participate in on-the-court drills on Monday but when he’ll return to action is another story. The team is expected to see how his body responds to the increased activity and then determine a return date.

He has been out since the team’s second game back on Halloween, recovering from a fractured left fibula.

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni conceded he doesn’t know when Nash will return and added that he’s getting better each day, but until he can endure some “up-and-down,” activity only then he’ll return.

As for Blake, he will keep undergoing treatments for his abdominal strain. He has a day-to-day status.

Meanwhile, veteran forward Pau Gasol is also battling pain. He has tendinitis in both knees but has continued playing. The player spoke out about the issues on Monday and said the pain is more prevalent in his left knee and it is affecting his “explosiveness.”

Gasol said via ESPN, “It was just something that started flaring up in the preseason. I didn’t want to stop, and I don’t want to stop now. I just don’t have that luxury.”

He has been wearing preventative straps on both knees and attributes some of the problems from long practices under former coach Mike Brown. At the end of the day, there’s not much you can do about tendinitis, said Gasol.

Fortunately, the veteran’s injuries shouldn’t stop the Lakers from winning. On Tuesday, the bettors see a win over the Pacers at -7 with a 196.5 over/under.

Hornets Surprise Clippers with 105-98 Win

Clippers point guard Chris Paul

Looking to end their losing steak, Hornets point guard Greivis Vasquez’s offensive play led his team to a much-needed win on Monday.

For the night, he had 25 points with 10 assists while his defensive teammates shut down Clippers Blake Griffin.

The league All-Star had one of his worst games in his NBA Career. He only took one of nine shots over 35 minutes; he ended the game with a career-low four points and six rebounds. With just over two minutes remaining in the game, Griffin fouled out.

Are we seeing a new low-scoring Griffin this season? Nope. The over/under has him at 20.5 total points per game.

Fortunately Griffin’s teammates stepped up as Caron Butler had nine 3-pointers–a career-high–on 15 attempts and ended with 33 points. He represents the first Clippers player to score at least 30 points this season.

Chris Paul added 20 points with eight assists while former Hornet Willie Green contributed 10 points.

But it wasn’t enough for a Clippers win as the Hornets entered halftime with a 51-44 lead and extended it by 11 points, then 17 in the fourth quarter. The Clippers came within six as 1:38 remained in the game but it was too little too late.

Paul said of the disappointing loss via ESPN, “We lost to a very — let me choose my words — not very talented team, but well-coached. I’ve watched every game that they’ve played. And one thing about Monty is, he’s going to have them playing hard. So waiting for the fourth quarter to turn it on was going to be tough for us. Greivis Vasquez was feeling good tonight. I think he’s on his way to his first All-Star Game.”



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