Clippers LA Kawhi Leonard to remain out for Game 6 with knee injury
Clippers F Kawhi Leonard listed as out for Friday's Game 6 vs. Utah Thu, 17 Jun 2021 01:00:00 -0700-LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard will remain sidelined for Friday night's Game 6 against the Utah Jazz because a right knee injury, head coach Ty Lue confirmed.
Coach Ty Lue said Leonard remains out for Friday's game against the Utah Jazz with a sprained right knee. Leonard could miss the rest of this series and longer after he injured his knee on a drive while being fouled in the fourth quarter of Game 4. Leonard left the game for good with 4:35 remaining.
Leonard traveled with the team to Salt Lake City on Tuesday but then returned to Los Angeles after telling teammates he would be out for Game 5, which the Clippers won 119-111 in Utah behind Paul George's 37 points, 16 rebounds and five assists. LA leads 3-2 in the best-of-7 series.
Lue said before Game 5 that there was no timetable for Leonard's return as the team awaits further test results on the knee.
For the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell (right ankle soreness) and Mike Conley Jr. (right hamstring strain) are both questionable for Game 6. Mitchell's ankle has become increasingly sore throughout the series, and Conley has missed every game.
The Clippers are seeking their first trip to the Western Conference finals after 50 seasons, the longest a team has gone without reaching the league's penultimate playoff round among active NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL franchises, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Last year, the Clippers had three chances to reach the conference finals but blew a 3-1 lead and lost to the Denver Nuggets.
ESPN's Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.
LA Clippers' Kawhi Leonard to remain out for Game 6 with knee injury Thu, 17 Jun 2021 01:00:00 -0700-Clippers' All-NBA forward originally injured the knee midway through Game 4 and is out indefinitely.
With Kawhi Leonard out for the foreseeable future, who other than Paul George will step up for the Clippers against the Jazz?
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard is officially out Friday night for Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Utah Jazz, but coach Tyronn Lue did not have any update on if it will be longer.
Leonard sprained his right knee Monday night in a Game 4 win. He traveled with the Clippers to Salt Lake City, Lue said, then returned to Los Angeles for further testing. A sprain, by definition, is a ligament injury, but the Clippers have not said which of the four knee ligaments he injured.
Despite missing Leonard, LA took a 3-2 series lead on Wednesday night with a 119-111 victory behind 37 points from Paul George. The Clippers are 12-9 without their All-Star forward this season, including 1-0 in the playoffs.
Leonard — a two-time NBA Finals MVP — is averaging 30.4 points in the playoffs.
The Clippers will be looking to close out the series and advance to the conference finals for the first time in the franchise’s 51-year history with a win. The Jazz need a victory on Friday to send it back to Salt Lake City for Game 7 on Sunday. The winner faces the Phoenix Suns.
LA was up 3-1 in last year’s series against the Denver Nuggets but were eliminated with three straight losses. Lue said the focus remains on winning Friday night and not dwelling on history.
“I know, like you said, the first time ever getting to the Western Conference finals, of course guys are thinking about that, but I’m focused and my job is just to make sure we’re focused on tomorrow night and that’s it and try to take care of business,” Lue said. “We know it’s going to be a tough game. Their backs are against the wall now, so they’re going to come out and throw punches and do everything they can to try to win that game.”
Friday’s game will also be the first time in 15 months the Clippers can play in front of full capacity at Staples Center after California eased some of its COVID-19 safety measures on Tuesday. LA was allowed to only play to half capacity during its first six home playoff games.
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– June 17, 2021
Utah Jazz, Jazz, Paul George, LA Clippers