9:30 p.m. at L.A. Clippers • Staples Center • TNT, 830-AM
Preview: Clippers All-Star guard Chris Paul tore a ligament in his left thumb during Monday’s 120-98 victory over Oklahoma, had surgery on Wednesday and will miss the next six to eight weeks, starting with Thursday’s game against the Wolves. It’s his third major hand injury since 2012, when he had thumb surgery after playing for Team USA in the London Olympics. He broke his right hand in last season’s playoffs and had surgery last summer. Teammate Blake Griffin has missed the past 15 games after arthroscopic knee surgery just before Christmas and is nearing a return, but it isn’t expected to be against the Wolves. The Clippers are 3-9 when they have played without both All-Stars since the start of last season. In the past two seasons, they are 79-35 (. 693) when Paul plays and 5-12 (. 294) when he doesn’t. The Clippers lost six consecutive games when Paul was out because of a hamstring injury in December, but had won their past six games with him back. … The Clippers won the season’s first meeting between the teams, 119-105 at Target Center on Nov. 12.
Players to watch: With Paul out, the Clippers will have to rely more upon guards J.J. Redick, Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford and Raymond Felton. Redick is averaging 19.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and two assists in his past seven games. Rivers is averaging career highs in points (11.0), field-goal percentage, steals and minutes and shooting a career-high 38.9 percent from three-point range. Center DeAndre Jordan leads the NBA in field-goal percentage at 68.5 percent, is second in rebounding at 13.9 per game and tied for eighth in blocks (1.81). … Wolves center Cole Aldrich played for the Clippers last season.
Injuries: Paul (torn thumb ligament), Griffin (right knee surgery) and F Brice Johnson (back) are listed as out for the Clippers.