Blake Griffin exits with back spasms

HOUSTON -- Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin left Saturday night's 118-107 win against the Houston Rockets with back spasms and did not return.

Griffin departed with 5:48 left in the first quarter. He was grabbing his lower back as he walked off the court and continued to hold it as he bit his jersey in the Clippers' huddle during a timeout. He then limped off the court with Clippers trainer Jasen Powell to the locker room.

"Back spasms, day-to-day," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said after the game. "I'm sure they're going to do whatever they do with X-rays and all that stuff, so we'll see."

Griffin has been dealing with hip issues recently, and Rivers believes that led to the back injury.

"It was his hip yesterday, it had nothing do with his back, but I think that's what triggered it," Rivers said. "Whatever was going on before, that's what triggered the back injury. It scared the hell out of me because I've had that reaction myself. That's a back injury. They don't think it's awful, but it's a back injury."

Rivers said he likely will be more cautious with Griffin with just eight games left in the regular season but would wait to talk to Powell first.

"I'm not sure how bad it is, I just don't know yet," Rivers said. "Clearly, if it's something where [Powell] says, 'Hey, it's your call,' then that means no. I mean if it's my call, then no. I want it to be the trainer's call where he knows he can play. If it gets to that, I would rest Blake, Chris [Paul] or Jamal [Crawford]."

Along with DeAndre Jordan, Griffin was one of only two players on the Clippers to start all 74 games this season. He is in the midst of a career year, averaging 24.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

The Clippers were already playing without J.J. Redick, who has missed the past 23 games with a bulging disk in his lower back, and Danny Granger, who was sent back home for the final three games of this road trip with a strained left hamstring.

Crawford, who recently missed eight of nine games with a strained left calf, may also be forced to play limited minutes moving forward after he was taken out of Saturday night's game with 5:03 left and did not return as his left leg was looked at.

"I'm still very concerned with Jamal," Rivers said. "He's still having these calf things and we may have to make a decision there sooner rather than later. That's just too dangerous with not knowing J.J.'s status. I know J.J. is going to come back, but I don't know how many minutes he can play. The risk of Jamal for us now becomes great."

Crawford said he thinks he'll be fine for Monday's game against Minnesota.

"I'll be all right," Crawford said. "It's going to take me a while to get back in form. It's just frustrating because I know I have to go through it, but I'll be all right."