Will Kawhi Leonard & Chris Paul Play Tonight? LA Clippers vs Phoenix Suns Game 4: Prediction, Injuries and Lineups

Published 06/25/2021, 9:58 PM EDT
Jun 24, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) dunks for a basket against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in game three of the Western Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


Thursday night at the Staples Center confirmed that “Suns in four” was out of the window in WCF. The Clippers, as they did against the Mavericks and the Jazz, bounced back after a 0-2 deficit. A huge credit for that must go towards their champion coach Tyronn Lue, who keeps the optimism to come back from 0-3 if need be.

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With no Kawhi Leonard for the last five games, coach Tyronn has done a tremendous job at switching the lineup and making strategic moves. But with Chris Paul back in the Suns squad, can the Clippers make it even in Game 4?

Clippers vs Suns: Injury updates and lineup predictions

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Jun 24, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig (12) moves to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. (8) during the second half in game three of the Western Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

For the Clippers, the news is not good. Kawhi Leonard (knee injury) is sure to miss Game 4, and there is no sign of his comeback anytime soon.

Plus, they also have Marcus Morris (left knee) as a day-to-day decision. Even in Game 3, Terance Mann started the proceedings because Marcus’ playing status came late and he had to start off the bench. Apart from the two, Serge Ibaka (back surgery) is already out for the season.

Probable starting five – Paul George (F), Terence Mann (F), Ivica Zubac (C), Reggie Jackson (G), and Patrick Beverley (G)

For the Suns, the sky was clear in Game 3, but they have a problem now. Cameron Payne (ankle) is a game-time decision as per their updated injury list.

Potential starting lineup – Jae Crowder (F), Mikal Bridges (F), De’Andre Ayton (C), Devin Booker (G), and Chris Paul (G)

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Who wins?

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After marginally managing to win Game 2, the Suns went for a disaster in Game 3. Devin Booker, in his transparent face-protector, struggled to score as if his peripheral vision was a hindrance. Plus, Cameron Payne clocking just four minutes and Dario Saric adding just two points further weakened their rotational offense. 

The Clippers, on the other hand, stayed hot in front of their home crowd with two huge double-doubles from Paul George and Ivica Zubac. With some visible verbal back-and-forth between PG and CP3, the match remained a live wire game. It was a great day for the Clippers’ defense that had taken a hit after Kawhi’s loss. 

Now, in Game 4, the Clippers would want two things; One, they’d want to limit Chris Paul’s scoring, and two, they’d not want Rajon Rondo to go 0-0-0 again. If they’re able to do that, we predict a victory for the Clippers and a 2-2 tie.

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Sourabh Singh

1444 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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