Clippers vs. Suns injury updates: Will Kawhi Leonard, Cameron Payne play in Game 4?
The question continues to hang over the Clippers as their series against the Suns progresses: Will Kawhi Leonard be able to return during these NBA playoffs?
Los Angeles is down 2-1 in the Western Conference finals, but the Clippers are coming off an impressive Game 3 win in which they held the backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker to 10-of-40 shooting from the field combined. Paul George and Reggie Jackson have been carrying the offense with Leonard sidelined, and both players delivered stellar performances in the team’s 106-92 victory.
MORE: Clippers’ trust in Reggie Jackson has paid off
Phoenix, meanwhile, was happy to see Paul back in action after he missed the first two games of the series because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, but the Suns lost another point guard in Game 3. Cameron Payne suffered an ankle injury in that contest, leading to some uncertainty about his availability.
Here are the latest updates on Leonard and Payne ahead of Saturday’s Game 4.
Will Kawhi Leonard play vs. Suns?
Leonard is listed as out on the official Game 4 injury report. The Clippers forward hasn’t played since suffering a right knee sprain in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Los Angeles has not offered any additional information regarding Leonard’s recovery timeline. On Tuesday’s edition of “NBA Countdown,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that there isn’t a ton of optimism within the organization that Leonard will be able to return soon, saying the “confidence of Kawhi Leonard being back is not there right now in LA.”
Through 11 postseason games, Leonard is averaging 30.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting 57.3 percent from the field and 39.3 percent on 3-pointers.
Will Cameron Payne play vs. Clippers?
Payne is listed as probable for Game 4. The Suns guard sprained his left ankle while pursuing a loose ball in the first quarter of Game 3 and was ruled out for the remainder of that contest.
Phoenix coach Monty Williams told reporters Friday that the Suns are “hopeful” Payne will be available for Game 4 and noted that Payne went through the team’s shootaround session and his usual workout without any limitations.
“He was a little bit better today. We didn’t do a ton, so it’s hard to evaluate,” Williams said (via Yahoo Sports). “But we think he’s getting better. We hope he can get back on the floor tomorrow.”
Through 13 postseason games, Payne is averaging 11.1 points, 3.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds. In his two starts against the Clippers, he totaled 40 points and 18 assists with just one turnover.
Clippers vs. Suns Game 4 injury report
(Current as of 8:30 p.m. ET Friday)
|Clippers||Serge Ibaka||Out||Back; surgery|
|Clippers||Kawhi Leonard||Out||Right knee; sprain|
|Suns||Devin Booker||Available||Nose; injury|
|Suns||Abdel Nader||Questionable||Right knee; rehab|
|Suns||Cameron Payne||Probable||Left ankle; sprain|
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