Clippers prepare for playoffs by resting starters in loss to Rockets

Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

LOS ANGELES — Kawhi Leonard sat on the Clippers bench Sunday once again dressed in a sweatsuit, right next to Paul George, who was next to James Harden, the team’s three stars not playing in the final regular-season game before the team begins the playoffs.

The big mystery surrounds Leonard and his status for the Clippers’ first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks that will start Sunday at Arena. He didn’t play against the Houston Rockets at home Sunday because of right knee inflammation. He has missed the last eight games with knee issues.

The fourth-seeded Clippers made no assurances that Leonard would play when the series starts.

“He’s not playing today,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said before his team’s 116-105 loss to the Rockets in L.A.’s last regular-season game before moving to Intuit Dome in Inglewood next season.

By the time the playoffs start for the Clippers on Sunday, Leonard will not have played in a game in three weeks.

Leonard was last in a game against Charlotte on March 31, one in which he played 37 minutes and had 23 points, five rebounds and four assists. He complained of knee soreness after that game and hasn’t played since.


So, Lue was asked, has Leonard been working out?

“Yeah, he’s been doing something,” Lue said.

So, do you expect Leonard to play in the playoffs?

“I didn’t say anything,” Lue said.


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