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Bad news for Clippers: Caron Butler breaks hand, out for playoffs

Apr 30, 2012, 4:36 AM EDT

Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Caron Butler AP

When things went wrong for the Clippers for the first 39 minutes of Game 1 against Memphis, they went terribly wrong. They were able to come back from most of that and get the win.

But one thing will linger — Caron Butler has a broken left hand and will be out at least a month, the team reports. That will keep another Clipper with playoff experience on the bench (Chauncey Billups is already there). It also robs them of another valuable wing defender to throw at Rudy Gay.

The broken hand happened on a relatively innocent defensive play, Butler went back to the locker room for X-rays then was back on the bench, reports ESPNLosAngeles.com.

“I was about to go back in the game, and got the X-ray results,” Butler said. “I told Coach I was ready, and he was about to throw me back in the fire.”

Butler had a dozen points in Game 1. The Clippers have players with the physical tools to step up, but they will miss the playoff experience.

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