Last night, the Portland Trail Blazers eliminated a battered Los Angeles Clippers team which was already without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, in addition to DeAndre Jordan dealing with an ankle problem in Game 6 and J.J. Redick battling a heel injury throughout the series.

With elimination staring them in the eyes in Friday's contest, the Clippers were clearly facing an uphill battle and Austin Rivers could've easily taken the rest of the night off after getting hit around his left eye by this vicious elbow from the Blazers' Al-Farouq Aminu midway through the first quarter. 

As he was bleeding profusely, Rivers was taken to the locker room with a towel covering his damaged eye. However, with 5:03 left in the second quarter, Rivers returned to the game, sporting a band-aid and a badly swollen eye. 

Oh, and 11 stitches. 

The Clippers fought hard until the very end, but fell short, 106-103. Rivers finished the night with 21 points, eight assists, six boards and a whole lot of respect from his peers and people on Twitter.

During the postgame press conference, an emotional Rivers nearly broke down when discussing how much teammate Jamal Crawford believed in him when he first came to the Clippers. 

It's unfortunate that the game didn't work out in the Clippers' favor, but Rivers can't be too hard on himself. He put everything he had out on the court and all you can do is applaud him for the effort. 

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[via Moleman]