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NBA roundup: Clippers’ Griffin sits out to protect back

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin did not play Monday against the Minnesota Timberwolves and is likely to remain idle all week to rest his ailing back for the playoffs.

Griffin was hurt in Saturday’s game against the Houston Rockets. He felt back spasms strong enough that he removed himself from the game. He had been dealing with back spasms for 10 days. Griffin decided to rest again Tuesday, when the Clippers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night and is leaning toward sitting Wednesday night.

The Clippers have seven regular-season games left before the postseason begins.

—Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anthony Bennett has been excused from the team in order to return to Toronto to address a family health matter, the team announced Tuesday.

Bennett, who is averaging 4.1 points per game, will not travel with the team on the current road trip to Orlando and Atlanta.

Meanwhile, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving practiced with his teammates for the first time in two weeks after being sidelined with a biceps injury. Irving, who has missed eight games, was able to take some contact during Tuesday’s workout, his first since straining a biceps tendon on March 16 against the Los Angeles Lakers. He is team’s leading scorer, averaging 21.2 points per game.

—Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings was fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the anti-flopping rules for the second time this season, the league announced Tuesday.

The incident occurred with 3:01 remaining in the fourth quarter of Detroit’s 116-111 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Jennings is the second-leading scorer on the Pistons, averaging 15.8 points per game. He leads the team with 7.8 assists per game.

—The NBA ordered Sacramento Kings forward Reggie Evans to pay for an elbow to the face of New Orleans Pelicans forward-center Anthony Davis, fining him $15,000 on Tuesday.

Evans was called for a flagrant-2 foul and ejected with 1:03 left in the third quarter of the Kings’ 102-97 victory over the Pelicans on Monday night in New Orleans.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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