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Clippers without injured Leonard for game 3 against Suns

Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard was ruled out of the team’s NBA playoff game against Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns on Thursday with a sprained right knee.

The Clippers confirmed Leonard would be sidelined in an official injury report and the Los Angeles Times, quoting an unnamed source, said it was unclear whether Leonard would be ready to return for game four on Saturday.

Leonard reportedly aggravated the knee during the Clippers 115-110 victory over the Suns in game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference first-round playoff series.

He scored 38 points in that game as the Clippers stole home court advantage from the Suns.

He played through the injury in game two, scoring 31 points with eight rebounds seven assists and three steals in the 123-109 defeat that leveled the series at 1-1.

The loss of Leonard, who was twice named NBA Finals MVP in winning NBA titles with the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors, is a crushing blow for a Clippers team that doesn’t expect to have star Paul George back from a sprained right knee for the first round.

The Los Angeles Times reported the injury is unrelated to the torn right knee ligament Leonard suffered in 2021, which caused him to miss a year.

He played 52 of 82 games this season as the Clippers managed his return from injury.

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