PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Paul George and Patrick Beverley practiced in full for the LA Clippers on Thursday and Friday but will not play on Saturday against the Sacramento Kings.
George injured his left hamstring for a third time this season last Thursday in the first half of a loss at Boston, and afterward head coach Doc Rivers said the injury was a cause for concern. The hamstring injury has kept George out of 10 games already this season, including nine straight in January. Beverley, who did participate in the All-Star Weekend skills challenge, will miss his fifth straight game with a groin injury.
Despite both guards being ruled out for Saturday, George and Beverley surprisingly practiced for two straight days, including a full, lengthy practice on Friday.
Rivers said entering the break that the Clippers had to get healthy and remain at full strength for a period to establish some chemistry before entering the postseason. However, Rivers has made it clear his priority is to have his team healthy in the postseason.
Injuries to several players including Kawhi Leonard, who is not playing in both games of back-to-back sets due to a knee issue, have forced the Clippers to adjust all season. Rivers has had a full roster available for only four games this season as the Clippers, along with Detroit and Golden State, used an NBA-high 27 different starting lineups entering the All-Star break.
The Clippers also have to incorporate recent additions Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson into the mix. Jackson is slated to make his Clippers debut on Saturday after being bought out of his contract with Detroit.
"Listen, I'd take one [game] right now," Rivers said of having his entire roster healthy and available. "Really. It's game to game, but even if we can't have healthy games, let's have healthy practices. I talked to about four or five coaches over the break. That was their big thing.
"People make a big deal about load management -- what they're missing is the load management of practice. It's one thing that they can't play in a game, but when you can't play in a game or practice, that hurts. That was our first half of the year. ... I'm just hoping ... like today, everybody practiced. If tomorrow everyone doesn't play, not the best. But at least we got a practice in."
After full practices, Clippers' Paul George, Patrick Beverley out vs. Kings