LA Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard feels ‘ready to go,’ but Ty Lue to keep minutes capped


LOS ANGELES — As Kawhi Leonard makes his way back from a foot injury and ramps up for the postseason, the LA Clippers are being cautious and maintaining a minutes restriction on their All-Star.

Clippers coach Ty Lue said he has had to adjust his rotations with Leonard not yet cleared to play an entire quarter. Leonard had 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists in 30 minutes during a 118-94 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.

“Right now, Kawhi just can’t play a full quarter, so he can’t play the whole 12-minute stint,” Lue said when asked about his rotation having Leonard and George resting on the bench at the same time for stretches. “Without having him, it kind of messes up our rotations a little bit.

“So that is where we insert Terance Mann or Luke Kennard in that position and just kind of go from there. But once [Leonard] is cleared to be able to play the whole quarter, we will go back to him finishing the first and third and letting PG play with the second unit to start the quarter.”

Leonard played 30 minutes or more in his third straight game after missing nine of 10 games with right foot soreness. Leonard has averaged 14.6 points in his last three games, well below the 25.3 points he averages on the season. Leonard has taken a total of 15 shots in his last two games but saw double teams in a win over Toronto and was not required to do much heavy lifting in the rout over the Lakers.

Leonard said recently that he has been playing through his foot injury for some time but that he is and will be fine. The Clippers (45-22) have five games remaining, including only one back-to-back set left in the regular season.

“I feel good,” Leonard said after beating the Lakers. “I’m ready to go. You know I’m just happy to be on the floor and not sitting on the sidelines, be able to play the game I love.”



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