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Clippers Injury Report: Is Kawhi Leonard Playing Tonight? Latest on 6x All-Star’s Availability vs Kings

Published 04/02/2024, 2:31 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

The Los Angeles Clippers (47-27) and the Sacramento Kings (43-31) will clash for the last time this season. Currently, the Clippers lead the season series, having defeated the Kings twice in three meetings. As they gear up to face off once more at the Golden 1 Center tonight at 10:00 PM ET, the Clippers are determined to hold onto their lead. However, their hopes are dampened by a troubling injury report that could throw a wrench in their plans.

According to head coach Tyronn Lue, Kawhi Leonard has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game against the Kings due to right knee soreness. The injury was unexpected since he was absent from the Clippers’ original injury report released earlier. However, the 6x NBA All-Star went back to LA for treatment, and the hope is that he’ll suit up for the game against the defending champs, the Denver Nuggets, on Thursday.

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In addition to the Klaw, the Clippers will also be without Jordan Miller (Achilles) and Moussa Diabate (hand). On the Kings’ side, they will miss the services of Malik Monk (sprained right MCL) and Kevin Huerter (left shoulder).

LA Clippers vs. Sacramento Kings: Predicted starting lineups

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The Clippers are eyeing a perfect sweep on their four-game road trip after picking up victories against the Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, and Charlotte Hornets so far. The Kings have been unable to contain Leonard this season, who averaged 28.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in 3 games versus the Kings. However, in Leonard’s absence, sixth-man Norman Powell will move to the starting lineup in what looks like a favorable matchup against the Kings.

Sacramento has struggled against small forwards, allowing the fifth-most three-pointers per game (2.9) to the position. Powell is on a tear currently, scoring in double digits in 11 straight appearances, averaging 16.3 points on 50.8% shooting from the field, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.0 triples in 27.9 minutes during this span. The Clippers starting lineup today could look like – James Harden, Terance Mann, Paul George, Normal Powell, and Ivica Zubac.

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The Kings are aiming to wrap up their five-game homestand on a high note, aiming for a winning record after a 2-2 start. With Kevin Huerter out for the season and Malik Monk sidelined for 4–6 weeks, Sacramento is relying heavily on their star players to step up and fill the void. While the return of Trey Lyles and Sasha Vezenkov from injuries will alleviate some of the depth issue, the Kings still need increased scoring from De’Aaron Fox and Keegan Murray to match up against the fourth-seeded Clippers. The Kings are expected to open their game with De’Aaron Fox, Keon Ellis, Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray, and Domantas Sabonis. 

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The Kings are currently trailing the New Orleans Pelicans by just two games for the coveted playoff spot. Do you think they’ll be able to narrow the gap after tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by:

Darshita Daga

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Darshita is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports who is creating her own space in the spectrum of sport journalism. Darshita specializes in dissecting post-game interviews, trade, and contracts. Her appetite for literature, akin to her affection for the Milwaukee Bucks, knows no bounds.
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Edited by:

Shivatmika Manvi