AP Photo/Matt York
Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard has no timetable for a return from a right knee sprain that kept him out for Game 3 of his team’s Western Conference first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns, per Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.
NBA TV @NBATV
“There is no timetable as of right now.”@ChrisBHaynes provides an update on Kawhi Leonard pic.twitter.com/eWVgf934D7
Haynes later reported that “it’s not a pain tolerance situation” and that it was not Leonard’s call to sit out, as it was recommended he not play in order to avoid further risk:
Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes
Sources: Provided new details on the condition of Kawhi Leonard for @NBAonTNT: pic.twitter.com/KsgGILFCfn
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski previously mentioned how this injury originated, noting that it wasn’t related to the right ACL tear that kept Leonard out for all of 2021-22.
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
Leonard aggravated knee in Game 1, played through it in Game 2 and is expected to be day-to-day ahead of Game 4 on Saturday, source tells ESPN. Injury isn’t related to his previous ACL injury. https://t.co/v7mXgQLokN
Leonard averaged 23.8 points on 51.2 percent shooting (41.6 percent from three-point range), 6.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 52 regular-season games this year.
Leonard was nothing short of dominant during the first two games of the Clips-Suns playoff series, averaging 34.5 points on 54.5 percent shooting, 6.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals as L.A. managed a split in Phoenix.
The Clippers replaced Leonard with Norman Powell in the starting lineup for Game 3. Powell was exceptional himself with 42 points on 15-of-23 shooting (7-of-12 from three-point range). However, the Suns won 129-124 in L.A. behind 45 points from Devin Booker.
L.A. has already played the entire series without Paul George, who is suffering from a right knee sprain. He is not expected to return during this series, per Haynes.
The onus will be on Russell Westbrook (30 points, 12 assists, eight rebounds in Game 3) to carry much of the burden going forward. Terance Mann (10 points in 26 minutes) should also see increased time off the bench.
The Clippers will look to even the best-of-seven matchup on Saturday when they host the Suns at 3:30 p.m. ET in Crypto.com Arena.
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