Jamal Crawford to play with a mask

BOSTON -- Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford fractured his nose late in Friday’s game against the Toronto Raptors but will play Sunday with a face mask against the Boston Celtics.

Crawford said he fractured his nose with 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter after missing a free throw and bumping into Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. Crawford didn’t know it was actually a fracture until Saturday, when he was forced to sit out of Clippers practice and get fitted for a mask.

“I’ve never worn a mask before,” Crawford said after warming up with the mask. “It felt pretty good. I actually shot better than I thought I would. I try to not think about it.”

Chris Paul, who wore a mask briefly last season after breaking his nose, spoke to Crawford about playing with the mask on.

“Yeah, we talked about it but he hated it,” Crawford said. “He hated it. I can’t tell if I hate it yet.”

The Clippers are hoping they will get Paul and Chauncey Billups back at some point during this road trip. Both players worked out Saturday with the team and are inching closer to a return possibly as early as next week.

“It’s a daily thing with them,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. “They both worked out yesterday. Today is a therapy day for them to get them their rest. It’s a day-to-day thing right now. Chauncey is feeling better, Chris is feeling better but there’s really no timetable. We want them back as soon as possible but we have to protect.”