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Los Angeles Clippers officially rule Kawhi Leonard out for Game 5

Kawhi Leonard out Game 5
May 25, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during game two in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

If the Los Angeles Clippers are going to stave off elimination in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals Monday evening, they’ll have to do so without Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard has missed each of the first four games of the series against the Phoenix Suns with a knee injury he suffered in the conference semifinals. As expected, Los Angeles has now ruled the two-time NBA Finals MVP out for Monday’s huge Game 5 outing.

There’s really been no updates on the extent of the Kawhi Leonard injury after he injured his right knee in Game 4 of the conference semifinals against the Utah Jazz. At least initially, there was some concern that he was dealing with an ACL injury. Right now, it’s being described as a sprain.

With Leonard sidelined for Game 4 against the Suns Saturday evening, the Clippers struggled big time on offense. They scored just 80 points in a narrow home defeat. It’s a game that saw Paul George foul out late in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles also shot a miserable 5-of-31 from three-point range in the four-point loss.

Now facing elimination heading into Game 5 in Phoenix, the Clippers must find a way to extend this series. Even then, there’s no telling whether Kawhi Leonard would be able to go in Game 6.