After the Clippers beat the Magic, 86-76, at Amway Center on Wednesday, the media gathered around Ryan Hollins' locker, of all places.,
Blake Griffin walked by, letting a giant smile cross his face.
With Griffin, Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford and Chauncey Billups all unavailable because of injuries, someone such as Hollins had to come up huge for the Clippers to snap a three-game losing streak.
And he did.
Hollins logged season-highs in points (13), rebounds (eight) and minutes (24:07) in the victory.
Wednesday was just the second time since Nov. 23 that Hollins played more than 10 minutes in a game.
"It's awesome. He works so hard. He hasn't played quality minutes since probably November," Griffin said. "He was great tonight. It was fun watching him. He's someone who works hard, doesn't complain, goes hard in practice and gets his work in.
"It's just awesome."
Hollins has been doing what he can to stay ready for a night such as Wednesday.
After games when he doesn't play, he finds the weight room in the arena to do cardio work. During games when he's not playing, he patrols the sideline, working the officials and shouting encouragement to his teammates.
The running, the cheering, the working – it's all to make sure that when the Clippers need Hollins to step up, he'll be there.
"They kind of rely on me to stay ready," Hollins said. "Even though I'm not in the game and being seen, I have an obligation here to not sit on my butt. ... I try to work just as hard as the guys who play them game."
Wednesday, Hollins' teammates rewarded him with the same cheers and excitement that he usually sends their direction.
"It was a great job from my teammates," he said. "I feel their support right when I step on the court, even before the game. That's what our team is about. We're not selfish players.
Hollins comes off bench to spark depleted Clippers
Orange County Register | Feb 7