Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul will both be sidelined for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday in Phoenix.
Neither All-Star played in Game 1 of the series Sunday — a 120-114 home win by the Suns — Leonard due to a knee injury, Paul because of COVID-19 protocols.
Los Angeles coach Tyronn Lue said Monday that Leonard won’t play Tuesday, and the Suns listed Paul as “out” on their official injury report.
Leonard missed 20 games in the regular season and has been out since sustaining a knee injury in Game 4 of the Clippers’ conference semifinal series against the Utah Jazz.
Leonard did not join the Clippers on the trip to Phoenix on Saturday, although Lue said Monday his star forward has been communicating daily about game strategy with coaches and players via FaceTime and text.
Paul remains in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols after missing Game 1, the first game this postseason he hasn’t played.
Neither Paul nor the Suns have publicly commented on whether Paul tested positive for COVID-19 or was a close contact of someone who did.
Leonard, who turns 30 next week, won NBA titles with the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors and is a two-time Finals MVP. In 52 regular-season games in 2020-21, he averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists per contest.
Paul, 36, is seeking the first championship of his 16-year NBA career. He played in 70 games on the regular season, averaging 16.4 points, 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds. He led the league in free-throw shooting at 93.4 percent. Paul spent six seasons (2011-17) with the Clippers.
In addition, Lue was unsure about the gameday status for forward Marcus Morris Sr., who was sidelined for most of the second half in Game 1 because of a right knee sprain. He contributed six points and three rebounds in 21 minutes, shooting 3-for-11 from the field.