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Clippers lose Billups for season with injury

- (Reuters) The Los Angeles Clippers were dealt a blow as starting guard Chauncey Billups was ruled out for the rest of the NBA season with a torn left Achilles tendon, the team said Tuesday. He will also miss this year's London Olympics.

The five-times All-Star suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of the Clippers' win Monday over the Orlando Magic when he tried to change direction after missing a three-point shot.

Los Angeles acquired the 35-year-old Billups off waivers in December just before trading for four-times All-Star Chris Paul.

The tandem has helped the Clippers (15-7) to a first-place start in the Pacific Division and turned them into contenders, but the loss of Billups clouds their status.

"It was tough. It was deflating," Billups told reporters of his injury during a television interview. "The team is coming together and what we have going on is exciting. To know that this season is over, it hurt."

The injury also rules the veteran Billups out of this year's London Olympics after he had been named to the 20-player pool.

Billups was averaging 15 points and four assists in 20 starts for the Pacific division-leading Clippers this season, which was shortened to 66 games because of the lockout.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Alastair Himmer)

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