Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard is expected to miss Wednesday’s series-tilting Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinals set with a knee injury, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne.
The injury could reportedly keep Leonard out for the remainder of the series.
Leonard appeared to tweak his right knee on a collision in transition with Utah Jazz wing Joe Ingles at the 5:25 mark of the fourth quarter in Monday’s Game 4. He limped on his right leg before missing a pair of free throws. Leonard remained in the game, only to sub out of the Clippers’ 118-104 victory 50 seconds later.
When asked on the court by TNT’s Rebecca Haarlow if he had any concerns about his right leg in his postgame interview, Leonard said, “Nah, I’ll be good.” Late the following day, Leonard began informing teammates that they should prepare to play without him in Game 5, according to Windhorst and Shelburne.
Only Serge Ibaka’s back injury was listed on an injury report the Clippers filed to the NBA on Tuesday night.
Leonard missed all but nine games of the 2017-18 season with right knee quadriceps tendinopathy, a chronic issue that damaged his relationship with the San Antonio Spurs. He has managed the injury ever since, missing at least 15 games in each of his past three seasons with the Clippers and Toronto Raptors.
Leonard has been far and away the Clippers’ most important player in the playoffs, which is not exactly revelatory news about a two-time Finals MVP. He registered 31 points (9-19 FG, 3-7 3P, 10-13 FT), seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in the Game 4 victory, finishing +14 in his 34 minutes.
Leonard is averaging a 27-8-4 on 51/33/85 shooting splits for the series entering Game 5, which is set to tip in Utah at 10 p.m. ET on TNT.
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