Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 4/2/12
The NBA lockout is going to end up costing rookies like the Clippers' Trey Thompkins more than just the 16 cancelled games in their first season. With schedules compressed so tightly, rookies on NBA rosters who aren't in their teams' regular rotations are left fighting for ways to get better. "It's tough. There's hardly any practice at all," Vinny Del Negro said. "And we're loaded in that area with Kenyon and Reggie. He's got to just keep on working, watching film and paying attention." Thompkins has played in just 19 games this season. Still, through extra on-court work before each game, Thompkins has seen his shot, ball-handling and defense take steps forward. "It's a learning experience. I never want being on the bench to get to me," Thompkins said. "I want to be a good teammate. I appreciated it at Georgia when guys would get loud for me. If Blake has a big dunk, I want him to look over and see support from his team." After beating the Jazz 105-96 on Saturday, the Clippers travel to Dallas to meet the Mavericks Monday. NOTES, QUOTES Lockout holds back Thompkins' development --For a brief moment, the Staples Center crowd collectively held its breath. Chris Paul headed off to the locker room, and the Clippers were only up five after leading by as many as 19. Forced to turn to Eric Bledsoe, the Clippers got a major shot of energy and quickly got the lead back to double digits. "I was ready for the moment," Bledsoe said. "I tried to fill the role and keep the lead and tempo going." Paul, who was diagnosed with a bruised elbow, returned early in the fourth quarter and led the Clippers to the finish line. "It was a good, solid team effort from everybody," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. --Prior to the game, Blake Griffin sat in front of his locker and joked about his endorsements. He said he drove his Kia to Subway while wearing his Nikes. QUOTE TO NOTE: "It gave us a little bit of breathing room, but we can't relax at all." -- Forward Blake Griffin on the Clippers' 5-0 homestand. ROSTER REPORT PLAYER NOTES: --G Chris Paul's streak of 55 consecutive games with a steal was snapped Saturday. Paul did lead the Clippers with 26 points, though. --G Nick Young led the Clippers' bench with 13 points. Young was 5-of-10 from the field and 2-of-4 from 3-point range. --F Blake Griffin had a nice all-around offensive game against the Jazz, scoring 24 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists. Griffin had double-doubles in his previous two games. --G Randy Foye scored 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting. It's the first time Foye's scored more than 10 points in back-to-back nights in his last eight games. MEDICAL WATCH: --G Chris Paul (right elbow bruise) had to leave the game Saturday momentarily. Paul went to the locker room, was examined and returned. --G Chauncey Billups (left Achilles tendon) underwent surgery to repair his Achilles tendon. Billups is out for the remainder of the season, but he had rejoined the team in the locker room and on the bench. --G Mo Williams (left big toe) was helped to the locker room in the second half Thursday at New Orleans. While X-rays were negative, Williams will be out for at least two weeks.
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