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Los Angeles Clippers’ Serge Ibaka has back surgery, out for playoffs

Mar 11, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center Serge Ibaka (9) is fouled by Golden State Warriors forward Kent Bazemore (26) as he goes up for a basket in the second half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers forward/center Serge Ibaka underwent back surgery on Thursday and will miss the rest of the NBA playoffs.

The team announced Friday that Ibaka, 31, is expected to make a full recovery. He hasn’t played since May 25 in Game 2 of the Clippers’ first-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks.

It marks the end of Ibaka’s first season with the Clippers following stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder (2009-16), Orlando Magic (2016-17) and Toronto Raptors (2017-20). In 41 games (39 starts) for the Clippers in the regular season, Ibaka averaged 11.1 points per game — his lowest average since 2012 — along with 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks.

In two playoff games Ibaka totaled 10 points, four rebounds and three blocks in just more than 18 minutes.

The Clippers are down two games to none to the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals, which continue Saturday with Game 3 in Los Angeles.

–Field Level Media