The LA Clippers will have to try to clinch their first trip to the Western Conference finals without Kawhi Leonard in Game 6.
Coach Ty Lue said Leonard remains out for Friday’s game against the Utah Jazz with a sprained right knee. Leonard could miss the rest of this series and longer after he injured his knee on a drive while being fouled in the fourth quarter of Game 4. Leonard left the game for good with 4:35 remaining.
Leonard traveled with the team to Salt Lake City on Tuesday but then returned to Los Angeles after telling teammates he would be out for Game 5, which the Clippers won 119-111 in Utah behind Paul George’s 37 points, 16 rebounds and five assists. LA leads 3-2 in the best-of-7 series.
Lue said before Game 5 that there was no timetable for Leonard’s return as the team awaits further test results on the knee.
For the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell (right ankle soreness) and Mike Conley Jr. (right hamstring strain) are both questionable for Game 6. Mitchell’s ankle has become increasingly sore throughout the series, and Conley has missed every game.
The Clippers are seeking their first trip to the Western Conference finals after 50 seasons, the longest a team has gone without reaching the league’s penultimate playoff round among active NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL franchises, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Last year, the Clippers had three chances to reach the conference finals but blew a 3-1 lead and lost to the Denver Nuggets.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.