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  • Chris Paul (right knee) will miss his third straight game tonight. “He’s day-to-day,” said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro, who said Paul is doubtful for Sunday night’s rematch with the Trail Blazers at Staples Center.
  • Guard Chauncey Billups (left foot) was on the floor working hard prior to the game, but he is not available, either. “With Chauncey and Chris, there’s no timetable,” Del Negro said. “They’re both feeling better. Chauncey is doing more physical stuff than Chris. We’re trying to get Chris as much therapy and rest as possible. Once he starts some contact, I’ll have a better feel for [his return].”
  • Eric Bledsoe – who had 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes of Thursday’s 93-88 loss at Phoenix — will start in Paul’s absence at point guard. “Eric has surprised a lot of people [as a starter],” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “Everybody knew he had the ability to defend and create steals, but he’s done a nice job running the show. He makes a lot of shots and now he’s stepping into a leadership role as a starter.”
  • Forward Blake Griffin, who played through an ankle sprain against Phoenix, will start for the Clippers. “He tweaked his ankle pretty good,” Del Negro said. “It’s a big concern, but he said he’s feeling better. We’ll monitor him out there and see how he’s doing.”
  • Veteran forward Grant Hill, who has played seven games off the Clipper bench after missing the previous 36 with a right knee injury, should be available for Sunday’s game, as well. “We’ll see how he does tonight,” Del Negro said. “I don’t see it being a problem, unless something happens tonight.”
  • Stotts greeted Clipper forward Lamar Odom warmly before the game. Stotts was an assistant coach at Dallas last season during Odom’s brief, ill-fated time there. “It was just one of those years for Lamar,” Stotts said. “Coming into a new situation, it was a disappointing year. I’m glad he’s bounced back well with the Clippers. He’s a great fit for them. He’s showing his versatility.”
  • Stotts changed his rotation routine in Wednesday’s 100-80 win over Indiana, removing LaMarcus Aldridge six minutes into the first quarter so he could bring him back to start the second period. And he gave rookie Will Barton early entry into the game. Barton responded with eight points and four rebounds. “Will played well,” Stotts said. “It depends on how things are going, but I’m sure he’ll be on the court in the first half. And I may look at doing that with L.A. again.”

Kerry Eggers

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