NBA

Clippers stars Kawhi, George both ruled out of Thursday's clash with the Suns

By Sports Desk December 15, 2022

Los Angeles Clippers All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will both sit out Thursday's highly anticipated home game against the Phoenix Suns on the second night of a back-to-back.

The duo, who have a combined 11 All-NBA selections, both played in Wednesday's 99-88 home win against the Minnesota Timberwolves in a game where George posted his first triple-double in a Clippers uniform.

Leonard is yet to play in both legs of a back-to-back since returning from his long-term ACL injury, while George has played in all six games – including a back-to-back – since returning from his brief absence with a hamstring strain.

As a team, the Clippers sit sixth in the Western Conference with a 17-13 record, but they are 14-8 in games George is playing in, and an even more impressive 8-2 in games Leonard suits up for.

They will face a Suns team dealing with their own absences as starting center Deandre Ayton and backup point guard Cameron Payne are both out with injuries, as well as starting wing Cam Johnson, who has not played since November 4.

The Suns, at 16-12, are one spot ahead of the Clippers in the fifth seed, but are on a five-game losing streak after what was a promising 15-6 start to the campaign.

After this game, the Clippers should have their star tandem back for home games against the Washington Wizards on Saturday and the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, before embarking on a five-game road trip.

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