Skip to content

Kawhi ruled out for Game 1 vs. Mavs

Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard won't play in Sunday's series opener against the Dallas Mavericks, head coach Tyronn Lue announced, courtesy of ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk.

Leonard missed the final eight games of the regular season due to an inflamed right knee, though his status for Sunday was up in the air after being upgraded to questionable ahead of the encounter.

When asked if the six-time All-Star would be available for Game 2 on Tuesday or in any game during the series, Lue told reporters that he was unsure. However, he added that the 32-year-old was undergoing daily assessments.

Leonard has only participated in noncontact practices since sustaining the injury. Lue said it's uncertain as to whether Leonard would be medically cleared for full contact this week.

"We haven't gotten that far yet," he said, courtesy of Mark Medina of Sportskeeda.

The two-time Defensive Player of the Year played in 68 games this season, his highest count since making 74 starts for the San Antonio Spurs in 2015-16. He averaged 23.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.6 steals while also hitting 41.7% of his 3-point attempts this season.

Since joining the Clippers ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, however, Leonard has appeared in just 26 of 37 total playoff games across five seasons due to injuries; he's missed 11 of their last 13 postseason contests entering Sunday after suffering a partial tear of his ACL in 2021 and then a torn meniscus in 2023.

It's the third time during Leonard and Paul George's stint in L.A. that the Clippers have matched up with the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. The Clippers won both their previous series, though Leonard played in all six games of their 2020 series and all seven of their rematch the following year.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox