Clippers F Kawhi Leonard ruled out of Game 4 vs. Mavericks

By Thomson Reuters Apr 28, 2024 | 2:29 PM

Los Angeles Clippers star forward Kawhi Leonard has been ruled out of Sunday’s Game 4 of the Western Conference first-round series versus the Dallas Mavericks due to inflammation in his right knee.

Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank made the announcement on Leonard, who had nine points in 25 minutes during Los Angeles’ 101-90 setback in Game 3 on Friday. The Clippers trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

“He’s not playing today. He wants to play,” Frank said on Sunday afternoon. “It was obvious in Game 3 that his mobility was severely restricted. So organizationally we just made a decision that he is out.

“The obvious question is coming so I’ll beat you to it. When is he coming back? Can’t tell you a timeline. (I) wish I had a crystal ball. Until he can show that he can make all the movements that he needs to make, that’s when he will come back.”

Amir Coffey will start in place of Leonard, per coach Tyronn Lue.

The injury forced Leonard out of the Clippers’ final eight regular-season games and Game 1 of this series. It also continues a trend of knee issues keeping the two-time NBA champion out of recent playoff series.

Knee injuries knocked Leonard out of the 2021 and 2023 playoffs, with the Clippers quickly eliminated after his departures. When knee surgery kept him out of the 2021-22 season, Los Angeles didn’t even make the playoffs.

Leonard, 32, averaged 23.7 points with 6.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 68 games this season. In 696 regular-season games over 12 seasons, Leonard has averaged 20.0 points with 6.4 boards and 3.0 assists.

Leonard won NBA titles in 2014 with the San Antonio Spurs and 2019 with the Toronto Raptors. He was named the MVP of the NBA Finals both years.

A six-time All-Star, Leonard has been named to the All-NBA first team three times. The veteran was recently included on the Team USA roster for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

–Field Level Media