Griffin vows to play in Game 1 despite injury

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin vows he will play in Game 1 Tuesday night despite a sprained left knee that his coach Vinny Del Negro said might need more treatment before he is cleared to play.

Griffin sustained a sprained left knee in Game 6 of the Clippers’ seven-game series victory over Memphis. The day of rest after that series ended has convinced him he will be ready for Tuesday’s game, saying there is “no doubt” about his availability.

Following a shootaround Monday afternoon at the ATT Center, Griffin said he’s at about 75 or 80 percent of peak condition.

”Hopefully more than that, but realistically, probably about that,” Griffin said. ”But my knee hasn’t gotten worse. That’s the encouraging thing. It just needs time, and we haven’t had much of it.”

Del Negro said a final decision won’t be made on Griffin’s Game 1 availability until after the Clippers’ Tuesday morning shootaround. 

”I don’t know yet,” Del Negro said. ”I’ll make that decision tomorrow after shootaround, after I talk to the trainer.”

But Griffin said he feels much better after a day of rest after the grueling series against the Grizzlies.

“That series was tough, it was a slugfest. You felt like you were just out there hitting people and hoping you wouldn’t get a foul called,” Griffin said. “But this is kind of a day and a half of rest we get, maybe a little more than that. It should be good for us.”

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