Clippers vs. Suns injury updates: Will Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul play in Game 3?

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The absences of Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul are looming large as the Clippers and Suns look to keep their championship hopes alive.

Phoenix has done just fine without Paul, surging to a 2-0 series lead behind stellar performances from Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Cameron Payne, who has replaced Paul in the starting lineup. Los Angeles, meanwhile, has relied heavily on Paul George and Reggie Jackson with Leonard sidelined but failed to secure a road victory. 

MORE: Chris Paul reacts to Deandre Ayton’s game-winning dunk

Both All-Stars haven’t been ruled out of the NBA playoffs, so when will they return to the court?

Here are the latest updates on Leonard and Paul ahead of Thursday’s Game 3.

Will Kawhi Leonard play vs. Suns?

Leonard is listed as out on the official Game 3 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.

“I think right now there’s confidence that the Suns are going to get Chris Paul back in the series,” Wojnarowski said before Game 2. “That 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 Chris Paul play vs. Clippers?

Paul is listed as probable for Game 3. The Suns guard was forced to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 last week, but he has cleared health and safety protocols and intends to return for Game 3, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.

“League sources informed me that Phoenix Suns star guard Chris Paul passed his cardio exam this morning, the final step in clearing the NBA’s health and safety protocols,” Haynes said during a Wednesday appearance on NBA TV.

Through 10 postseason games, Paul is averaging 15.7 points, 8.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals while shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 44.4 percent on 3-pointers.

Clippers vs. Suns Game 3 injury report

(Current as of 8:30 p.m. ET Wednesday)

Team Player Status Reason
Clippers Serge Ibaka Out Back; surgery
Clippers Kawhi Leonard Out Right knee; sprain
Suns Abdel Nader Out Right knee; rehab
Suns Chris Paul Probable Health and safety protocols

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