Two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard has been ruled out by the LA Clippers tonight for their matchup against the Orlando Magic. The Clippers are sticking to their plan of monitoring Leonard’s right knee, particularly in back-to-back games.
LA will face the Magic on the front end of consecutive games, so Leonard has been given the night off.
The LA Clippers will be looking to push their way into a top-four finish but will still not deviate from their load management plan for “The Klaw.”
After losing their first five games under the Russell Westbrook era, the Clippers have slowly but steadily found their groove. They are currently on a four-game winning streak with a 37-33 record. LA is now just a game behind the Phoenix Suns (38-32) from the fourth seed in the tightly-contested Western Conference.
Eight-time NBA All-Star Paul George, Ivica Zubac, Nic Batum and Westbrook will have bigger loads to carry on both ends without Kawhi Leonard.
Meanwhile, Indiana Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton will miss his fourth straight game tonight when his team takes on the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers. The first-time NBA All-Star could miss a few more games as he is dealing with a right ankle sprain.
The Pacers, who have previously been terrible without their best player, are 2-1 without him in their last three games. They dispatched the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks 139-123 last Thursday, minus one of the NBA’s best playmakers.
Haliburton is averaging 20.8 points, 10.4 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 54 games. The news of the injury could not have come at a most unfortunate time as the Pacers are trying to get into the NBA postseason.
Indiana (32-38) is just half a game behind the Chicago Bulls (32-37) for the 10th seed and final play-in spot in the East.
Kyle Lowry: Left knee soreness; Injured since: February 4, 2023
Kyle Lowry has played just three games since returning from a 15-game absence due to a left knee injury. The Miami Heat have eased him back into action by asking him to come off the bench.
Miami is exercising caution as the Heat will play the front end of a back-to-back set starting with tonight’s matchup against the Chicago Bulls. The former NBA All-Star has been ruled questionable.
Lowry has played 47 games tonight and is averaging just 11.9 points, the lowest since he had 9.1 PPG during the 2009-10 season. He has been struggling from the field, hitting just 40.2% of his shots after averaging 44.0% last year.
The 2019 NBA champ, however, remains a vital cog in head coach Erik Spoelstra’s offense. If he’s not available tonight, he could be back on Sunday against the Detroit Pistons.
Jordan Clarkson: Fourth finger sprain on the left hand; Injured since: March 7, 2023
The Utah Jazz have upgraded Jordan Clarkson to questionable for their matchup tonight versus the Boston Celtics. Clarkson hasn’t played in Utah’s last four games due to a sprained fourth finger on his left hand.
The former NBA Sixth Man of the Year winner, however, was a full participant in the Jazz’s last practice. There's a decent chance he should be back in action against the Celtics.
The Jazz are, surprisingly enough, still in contention to make the play-in tournament. They have a 33-36 record, which puts them in just a virtual tie with the LA Lakers (34-37) for the 10th seed. LA is 2-0 in their head-to-head series with still two more games between the two teams.