NBA fans who were expecting to see the dynamic duo's exciting match on Tuesday night were immediately disappointed.
Clippers ahead of Qui Leonard were excluded from a national TV game against Celtic due to back spasms. The 29-year-old was seen warming up at TD Garden but left the court shortly before tipoff. During the first quarter, los Angeles officially announced that Leonard would not be available.
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Reggie Jackson replaced Leonard in the Clippers' starting lineup, which included Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Nicholas Batam and Serge Ibka. During a midgame interview with TNT analyst Grant Hill, Clippers coach Tyrone Lew insisted that no player would be able to fill the void left behind by Leonard.
“[We can't] Try to do it yourself. [It's] While doing it by the committee, “Lew said.” Reggie did a good job. [George] Get off to a good start. Just have to be better defensively. “
This is the second Celtics-Clippers game this season that has failed to deliver a George and Leonard vs Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum fight. George and Brown sat in the only second meeting between Boston and Los Angeles last month. Both Brown and Tatum were active for Tuesday's competition, but George was forced to carry the offensive load without Leonard in the first half, scoring 21 points in 8-of-13 shooting.
Leonard has now lost eight games this season: one game with back spasms, two games with one mouth laxation, two games as part of the Health and Safety Protocol and three games with leg contests. He averages 26.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, and was named an All-Star starter last month.