Clippers rule Kawhi Leonard out for Game 5 vs. Mavericks

ByOhm Youngmisuk ESPN logo
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard will miss his second straight game and remain out for Wednesday's Game 5 against the Dallas Mavericks, according to coach Ty Lue.

Lue said Leonard would not practice Tuesday as he continues to treat the inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee.

Leonard did not play Sunday when the Clippers won Game 4 in Dallas 116-111 to even the best-of-seven series at 2. Paul George and James Harden shouldered the load, combining for a total of 66 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds.

After missing the final eight regular-season games and Game 1 of the series, Leonard returned and logged 35 minutes, scoring 15 points in Game 2. But Leonard said his knee did not respond the way he had hoped. Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said Leonard experienced swelling.

The two-time Finals MVP gutted out 25 minutes and had nine points and nine rebounds but clearly did not move like his normal self in Game 3. Frank announced Sunday that Leonard will be out until he is able to move like he did in Game 2 and his return is uncertain.

Lue said Leonard still is a valuable presence for the team on the sideline.

"I mean he keeps himself involved," Lue said. "Just being in the shootarounds, being in the practices, understanding what we're trying to do.

"So when guys make mistakes, when they come out of the game, he can talk to those guys and let them know. And then also let them know what he sees as well with PG and with James. And he's been really vocal. He's helped us out a lot even though he's not playing."

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