Los Angeles Clippers will have to take the court for Game 5 against Utah Jazz without Kawhi Leonard. The recently crowned member of the NBA All First Team has reportedly suffered a knee injury which might keep him out of the final crunch games of the series as well.
According to the Clippers, Leonard sprained his right ankle during Game 4 and there is “no timetable for his return.”
Kawhi Leonard is expected to miss Game 5 against the Jazz tonight with a knee injury suffered in game 4, sources tell @ramonashelburne & me. His status for rest of series is in doubt as well.
The small forward apparently injured his knee on a drive in their series-leveling win, where Leonard had led the scoring with 31 points. He grimaced after the landing and hung around after the injury, but did not finish the game on the court.
The two-time NBA Finals MVP had shrugged off any questions about his knee following the game, “I’m good,” Leonard had said. “Next question.”
Clippers coach Tyronn Lue was optimistic after Game 4 that the former Raptors ace would take the court on Wednesday.
“Yeah, I think so,” Lue said. “We’ll know more after the game, but yeah, I think everybody is pretty good.”
Leonard informed the teammates late on Tuesday about his unavailability for the crucial Game 5.
He has been in a rich vein of form in the playoffs and drove the Clippers to a comeback series win over Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.
Leonard less Clippers faced with a huge problem
Having won two in a row over number one seed Utah Jazz, the Clippers will have a massive task at hand to retort against red-hot Donovan Mitchell and co. to avoid a trail in the series again.
Paul George, who is on a decent run himself with a couple of good outings in the twin wins at home, will have to play a greater role if they want to improve on their 2019-20 season finish.
Leonard was unstoppable in Game 4 and even went viral for his imperious poster dunk. He becomes the latest member of the All-Star to be injured during the playoffs. Injuries have already claimed the likes of Anthony Davis, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving among many so far.