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Kawhi Leonard Ruled Out for Clippers vs. Suns Game 5 with Knee Injury

Scott PolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 27, 2021

AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard has been ruled out for Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns on Monday due to his knee injury.

That doesn't come as much of a surprise, as Yahoo Sports NBA insider Chris Haynes previously reported it is "highly unlikely" Leonard will travel with the Clippers for Game 5 (beginning at the 1:15 mark):

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What's the latest injury news for the Clippers and Suns ahead of Game 4?<a href="https://twitter.com/ChrisBHaynes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ChrisBHaynes</a> joined <a href="https://twitter.com/MattWinerTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MattWinerTV</a> to discuss. <a href="https://t.co/4YDizUpg54">pic.twitter.com/4YDizUpg54</a>

Leonard has not played since Game 4 of the Clippers' second-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz because of a knee injury.

Haynes said the elevation involved with flying to Phoenix "wouldn't be good for his knee."

The 29-year-old Leonard is a two-time NBA champion (and two-time Finals MVP), two-time Defensive Player of the Year and five-time All-Star. He averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game this season while shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from three.

With Leonard out, Paul George has taken on the bulk of the scoring and playmaking load with mixed results. Versus the Suns, he's averaging 27.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game but is shooting 35.4 percent from the field and 24.4 percent from three. He's gone 14-of-46 from the field the past two games.

Terance Mann and Reggie Jackson have also had more opportunities offensively.

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The Clippers, who have never reached the Finals in franchise history, trail the series 3-1 after Phoenix's 84-80 win in Game 4 on Saturday.

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