Kawhi Leonard returns to the Clippers' lineup for Game 2 against Luka Doncic and the Mavericks

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored four points in the first half of his return for the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their playoff series against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.

Leonard received the loudest cheers of anyone in the team's starting lineup when he was introduced. He shot 2 of 6 from the floor in the first half, when the Clippers trailed 45-41 at the break. Leonard had three rebounds and one assist in 17 minutes.

Leonard came back after missing three weeks because of right knee inflammation.

“He's done all the necessary things he has to do to get on the floor and so he's checked every box,” coach Tyronn Lue said before the game. “He's ready to go.”

Leonard wasn't under a minutes restriction; instead, Lue gauged how his superstar forward was feeling during the game. Leonard played seven minutes in the first quarter and 10 in the second.

Leonard had not participated in any contact practices going into the playoffs. He last played on March 31.

The Clippers beat the Mavs 109-97 in Game 1 on Sunday while Leonard watched from the bench.

“He's got to be accounted for on both sides of the ball,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “It doesn't matter how long he's been out. If he's playing, he's ready to go.”


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

04/24/2024 03:31 -0400

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