Blake Griffin’s streak ends at 197.
The forward was out of the lineup for the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, an unfamiliar place for the high-flying star. Griffin’s absence with a strained left hamstring is the first time he’s not played in the last 197 games, ESPN notes.
The team made the decision to keep Griffin from the lineup just a few minutes before tipoff. The ironman streak was impressive for a player that started his NBA career with an entire season lost to injury. Griffin missed the entire 2009-10 season with a left knee injury, leading some to worry about his long-term ability to recover.
But the forward returned stronger than before, and as Griffin’s streak ends he’s now viewed as one of the tougher players in the NBA. Blake Griffin is known for hard drives to the rack — and subsequently, hard fouls from opponents. The hard charging style of play does has some worried for his long-term health.
This year, Griffin has been an important part of what has become a title-contending team. The Clippers reeled off a 19-game winning streak earlier in the year, and As Griffin’s streak ends, he stands as one of the team’s most important players, averaging 18.5 points and 8.6 rebounds a contest.
Griffin’s streak ends at a difficult time for the team, however. The team is also without star point guard Chris Paul, who has missed the last eight games with a knee injury. There had been reports that the Clippers were looking into landing forward Kevin Garnett to help down the stretch, but the Los Angeles Times said that rumor is false.