Clippers' Kawhi Leonard (knee) out indefinitely, will miss Game 5 vs. Jazz

Published June 17, 2021, 6:30 AMNBA.com News Services

Leonard appeared to injure his right knee in the closing minutes of Game 4 against the Jazz.

All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard has a right knee injury that will keep him out of the LA Clippers’ lineup for Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday night, the team announced.

Leonard was not listed on the injury report that the Clippers filed with the league Wednesday (PHT), but an update on Thursday listed Leonard as out indefinitely. ESPN was first to report the injury.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Clippers “fear” that Leonard has suffered an ACL injury.

Leonard, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, is averaging 30.4 points on 57% shooting in the playoffs.

The injury appeared to occur with about 5:20 left in Game 4 of the series against Utah on Monday night, when he was fouled on a drive by Utah’s Bojan Bogdanovic. Leonard was dribbling into the lane when he was bumped, and his right knee appeared to buckle slightly. He grimaced in some discomfort, missed the two free throws that were awarded following the foul, but remained in the game for 45 more seconds.

He checked out with 4:35 remaining and did not return; the Clippers led by 16 points when he checked out and the lead remained in double figures the rest of the way.

The Clippers-Jazz series is tied 2-2, with Game 5 in Salt Lake City on Wednesday and Game 6 back in Los Angeles on Friday night.

Game 7, if necessary, would be back in Salt Lake City on Sunday. If the Clippers-Jazz series ends Friday, Game 1 of the Western Conference finals between the LA-Utah winner and Phoenix will be Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.