Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, Paul George out due to COVID-19 protocols

Jan 22, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives to the basket between LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the third quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have been ruled out for the Los Angeles Clippers’ game against the host Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday due to the NBA’s health and safety COVID-19 protocols, while point guard Patrick Beverley will miss the game due to a sore right knee, according to ESPN.

The trio played in a 108-100 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, though George was pulled from the game with 4:31 remaining due to hamstring tightness, while Beverley sat out the second half to rest his knee.

Leonard nearly posted a triple-double with 34 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while George had 11 points, five rebounds and four assists. Beverley had seven points and three assists for the Clippers, who improved to 13-4, tied for the league’s best record with the Lakers.

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The Clippers headed to Atlanta to start a six-game road trip on a seven-game winning streak without Leonard or George, who were not on the team flight on Monday, according to ESPN.

However, it’s possible Leonard and George could join the trip for other games during the road trip, depending on the extent of protocol.

Leonard is averaging 25.9 points, 5.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds this season, while George is averaging 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists. Beverley averages 8.1 points and 2.1 assists per game.

Lou Williams (8.8 points per game) and Luke Kennard (8.5) are expected to receive more playing time.

–Field Level Media