NBA playoffs

Clippers star Kawhi Leonard out for Game 5 vs Jazz

Reuters
Clippers star Kawhi Leonard out for Game 5 vs Jazz

Jun 12, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) passes the ball while defended by Utah Jazz guard Miye Oni (81) and center Rudy Gobert (27) in the first quarter during game three in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Clippers might be without Kawhi Leonard for the remainder of their best-of-seven series against the Jazz

Kawhi Leonard could be done for the series and is out for Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals with a right knee injury, according to reports.

That poses significant challenges for the Los Angeles Clippers, and could be a convincing edge for the Utah Jazz with momentum up for grabs in a pivotal Game 5 on Wednesday night, June 16 (Thursday, June 17, Manila time) due to a knee injury.

A First Team All-NBA selection this season, Leonard left Game 4 with a right knee injury but said “I’ll be good” for Game 5.

Leonard grabbed for the knee after bumping into Utah’s Joe Ingles, and he departed less than a minute later. He left the contest with 4:35 remaining, exiting with 31 points and 7 rebounds. 

The Clippers travel back to Utah for Game 5 after winning the last two games to tie the series at 2-all. 

The Clippers’ stars awakened the past two games – Leonard and Paul George each scored at least 30 points in Games 3 and 4 victories – while the suffocating defense and smoking offense that helped the Jazz jump out to a 2-0 series start looked rather pedestrian at Staples Center.

“Myself and Kawhi got full trust in each other,” George said. “It’s opportunities for us to score when we get switches, but then there’s opportunities to allow our teammates to be aggressive and make plays for them when we can attack our mismatches. I think it’s just a healthy mix.”

They were very healthy on Monday, with George and Leonard each scoring 31 points in a 118-104 win.

George faces the possibility of needing another wing man to emerge on Wednesday night at Utah.

“These guys understand that we need them to be the head of the snake and be super aggressive,” Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. said. “Those guys are our leaders. We go as they go and they understand that. Guys have just been picking up the slack behind them.” – Rappler.com