Newspaper article International New York Times

Clippers Knocked out Again

Newspaper article International New York Times

Clippers Knocked out Again

Article excerpt

Perennially unable to surmount misfortune, Los Angeles, their stars injured, lost the last four games of their series with the Trail Blazers.

CORRECTION APPENDED

The story of the Los Angeles Clippers could be told through the misshapen face of Austin Rivers and through the hobbled gait of DeAndre Jordan, who punctuated his playoff experience with X-rays on his right ankle. More injuries. More frustration. It was the only way the Clippers' season could have ended.

"This one hurts," Rivers said Friday night at Moda Center, the left side of his face the color and consistency of an overripe plum.

The Clippers, a perennial pick to surmount the misfortune of their sad-sack and sometimes salacious past, are out of the National Basketball Association playoffs again, knocked out this time by the overachieving Portland Trail Blazers, who needed six games to advance through the first round and into the Western Conference semifinals against the Golden State Warriors.

Perhaps the Trail Blazers can make things tough on the Warriors, who are still without Stephen Curry, his sprained right knee another indication of the postseason's rigors. But it was supposed to be the Clippers -- a team with the same core group of stars and the same expectations as in recent seasons, and now coping with the same disappointment.

"You have to be willing to get your heart broken to be a champion," Coach Doc Rivers said, "and you have to do it over and over again."

The Clippers are getting good at that. For the third straight year, they made a hasty exit from the playoffs. In 2014, amid the noise of the Donald Sterling fiasco and with an opportunity to take control of their conference semifinal series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Clippers lost a seven-point lead in the final 49 seconds of Game 5. They bowed out one game later. …

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