There was a bit of internet buzz on Tuesday evening because the Los Angeles Clippers' team page on CBS Sports was listing both Kawhi Leonard and Ivica Zubac as game-time decisions for Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against the visiting Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. That's just because the Clippers hadn't released an official designation at that point. Leonard is out again, though, and Zubac now questionable with the game a pick'em at William Hill Sportsbook. Suns big man Deandre Ayton, off a bit of a quiet game, is set at Over/Under 16.5 points.
Leonard of course hasn't played since Game 4 of the last round vs. Utah with a knee injury and the fact he didn't even travel to Phoenix for any games this series should tell you it's serious. If Kawhi would have at least gone through warmups before the Clips' potential elimination Game 5, well, there might be some confidence he could play Wednesday. It seems pretty obvious he won't be returning in this series.
By the way, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith made some ridiculous news Tuesday by saying: "I don't know if it's in the Clippers' best interest to keep him [Kawhi Leonard], Nobody has said that, so I'll be the first to say that." He also speculated Leonard going to Miami next season as a free agent. Yeah, OK. Leonard does have a player option for the 2021-22 NBA season that he is expected to decline but simply to sign a longer deal with L.A.
Paul George was historically good Monday with 41 points on 15-for-20 shooting, 13 rebounds and six assists. He was only the second player in NBA playoff history with at least 40 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and 75% shooting in a game, joining Patrick Ewing. For total points, assists and rebounds in this one, George is set at Over/Under 46.5, with the Over a -125 favorite.
Zubac was a surprise scratch for Game 5 with a sprained right MCL injury that he suffered in Game 4, which made the Clippers' 116-102 upset all the more shocking. The 7-footer is averaging 12.8 points and 11.0 rebounds in the series with three straight double-doubles. We may have to wait until the 5:30 p.m. ET injury report for whether he's playing.
Terance Mann started for Zubac on Monday and had four points on 2-for-8 shooting in 26 minutes. The real beneficiary was DeMarcus Cousins. He barely saw the court the first three games but had 15 points, there assists and two rebounds in 11 minutes.
Cousins seemed to give Ayton a bit of trouble and while Ayton had a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds in the loss, he was minus-22 and not near the dominant force he had been in the first three games when he averaged 20.3 points and 15.0 rebounds. Over 16.5 points is a -120 favorite for Ayton in Game 6 and he's -210 for a double-double.
On the updated series line, Phoenix is -600 and Los Angeles +425.
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