Will Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul Play Tonight? LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns Game 2 Injury Updates, Lineup and Game Prediction

Published 06/22/2021, 2:05 AM EDT
Jun 20, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (left) grabs a rebound against Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in the first half during game one of the Western Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The Phoenix Suns and LA Clippers Game 1 of the Western Conference finals took away all the attention from Chris Paul and Kawhi Leonard’s absence. In fact, the focus quickly became the battle between Devin Booker and Paul George. Although the Suns came on top and finished the match with their 120-114 victory, the Clippers didn’t go down without a fight.

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With the stakes as high as a ticket to the NBA finals, every game of this series is crucial. The Suns and Clippers are getting prepared for Game 2 with as much vigor as before. The Suns will hope to continue their winning streak and take an advantageous 2-0 lead, while LA will try to even the series early on. Who will one-up the other?

LA Clippers injury updates and lineup prediction

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The Clippers continued their ritual of losing their opening games in the playoffs this year against Phoenix as well. Despite being Kawhi-less, the Clippers played decently and the role players were able to come together so as to not fall too far behind the Suns.

Jun 20, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (right) controls the ball against Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in the first half during game one of the Western Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

They were able to cover up deficits even in the last 30 seconds of the game. However, the Suns’ defense came to their rescue, which helped them seal the win. To prevent their rivals from wreaking havoc in the paint, the Clippers will have to level up their interior defense along with making sure they grab more rebounds.

Unfortunately, Kawhi Leonard is listed out for this game as well which means the onus to tie the series falls on Paul George. Unlike last season, PG has shown that in Leonard’s absence, he can be relied on. He finished the night with 34 points and the rest of the team struggled to add to the scoreboard when he was off the floor. Thus, a prime performance from PG is essential to win Game 2.

With that, the predicted lineup would be Marcus Morris Sr., Reggie Jackson, Paul George, Ivica Zubac, and Terrance Mann.

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Phoenix Suns injury updates and lineup prediction

The Phoenix Suns continue to keep the audience surprised with how brilliantly they’ve played so far and Game 1 was no different. When most thought their team would struggle without veteran leader Chris Paul, Devin Booker came to their rescue and was their lone hero.

Jun 20, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives to the basket against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first half during game one of the Western Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

He recorded his first career triple-double as he compiled 40 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. Booker also became the only player since Steve Nash to achieve this feat in the playoffs for the Suns.

With Chris Paul still ruled out for Game 2 because of Covid-19 protocols, Devin will have to ensure to keep their winning streak intact. However, preventing their opponents from dropping shots from the arc is one aspect they need to prepare for. If it wasn’t for the Clippers’ 20 three-pointers, the match might not have been neck to neck.

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So the predicted lineup would be Cameron Payne, DeAndre Ayton, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, and Jaw Crowder.

Game prediction

The one thing any team needs to be wary of is the Clippers’ ability to make adjustments according to situations. This means this game will be as intense as the first. But the Suns are favorites to win Game 2 and being one of the best teams in the West this season, there is no reason to doubt their victory.

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Yashima Bhatia

1330 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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