LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard will miss Game 5 against Utah Jazz, out indefinitely
Leonard has told teammates to prepare for him to be out, according to a report by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne.
The outlook for Game 5 between the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers just changed significantly.
According to a Wednesday morning report by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne, Clippers star Kawhi Leonard has told teammates to prepare for him to be out for the game after he suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter of LA’s Game 4 victory over the Jazz on Monday.
Leonard told teammates last night to prepare for him to be out.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 16, 2021
He landed awkwardly on a drive in the fourth quarter and grimaced in pain Monday night. He briefly stayed in game but didn’t finish as the Clippers secured the win to even series 2-2.
Windhorst reported that Leonard’s status for the rest of the series is in doubt, and the Clippers formally announced later Wednesday morning that Leonard will indeed be out indefinitely because of a right knee sprain.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania later reported that the Clippers “fear” Leonard has suffered an ACL injury.
With 5:25 remaining in Game 4, Leonard was bumped on a fast break by Jazz wing Joe Ingles. Although their knees did not appear to collide, Leonard immediately began tending to his knee. He played 50 more seconds (he made two free throws in that time) but subbed out with 4:35 remaining and did not return.
The Jazz-Clippers series is tied at two games apiece. Utah won the first two games at Vivint Arena, after which LA won back-to-back games at Staples Center.
After from struggling in Game 1 of the series, Leonard has been excellent for the Clippers. In Game 4, he scored a team-high 31 points on 9 of 19 shooting before exiting in the fourth quarter. The Clippers star has a history of injuries, including a knee injury suffered while with the San Antonio Spurs. That injury led to his getting traded to the Toronto Raptors.
He won Finals MVP awards with both teams.
On Tuesday, Leonard was named First-Team All-NBA, along with the Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was named Third-Team All-NBA.