Boston Celtics at L.A. Clippers
Celtics Face Old Coach Doc Rivers and New Look Clips
When: 10:00 PM ET, Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
LOS ANGELES – It may not be known until close to game time whether or not the Los Angeles Clippers will have star forward Kawhi Leonard on the floor for Wednesday’s game against the Boston Celtics. Leonard has missed the past three games with a left knee injury and the Clippers are 7-2 when he plays and 2-3 when he sits out.
As Leonard’s status remains shaky, Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers isn’t overly concerned and said he isn’t surprised over what is transpiring per Leonard’s health.
“We knew at the beginning of the year that this is how it would be,” Rivers said. “I don’t think one coach or one guy has even thought about it, that it would be nice to have everybody out there.”
Boston could be without a key player as guard Marcus Smart suffered a sprained right ankle in Monday’s 99-85 road win over the Phoenix Suns. Forward Jayson Tatum led the way with 26 points and a season-best 11 rebounds during the victory, which occurred one night after Boston’s 10-game winning streak was halted by the Sacramento Kings.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCS Boston, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (11-2): Smart was optimistic that he may be able to play against the Clippers and will undergo further examination before a verdict is reached. “It was minimal swelling for it. I’m able to walk, I’m able to still shift and plant and move side to side, so that’s good,” Smart told reporters. “… We’d rather be safe than sorry and because it’s so early in the season, we don’t want to risk anything. We’ve got a day off, use it to get the treatment I need and be ready for the next game.”
Tatum’s double-double was his second of the season and he ranks second on the Celtics with a 20.2 average and leads the squad with a 7.5 rebounding average.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (9-5): Star forward Paul George has yet to play with Leonard since returning from offseason surgery on both shoulders. He is averaging 29.3 points over his first three games – scoring 33 points against the New Orleans Pelicans in his team debut on Thursday and adding 37 two nights later against the Atlanta Hawks before making the decisive 3-pointer with 25.9 seconds left while scoring 18 in Monday’s 90-88 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, his former club.
“You know, there was a big thing about (how I) can’t make it to win games,” George said afterward of his clutch shot. “That stuff doesn’t bother me. I am out there to play hard and to win games. I feel confident in every shot that I take. It’s up to me to make it or miss it. That type of stuff don’t bother me.”
- The Clippers averaged 131.5 points while winning both of last season’s matchups and took nine of the past 12 meetings.
- Boston G Kemba Walker is 4-of-22 from 3-point range over the past three games.
- Los Angeles PF Montrezl Harrell recorded 28 points and 12 rebounds on Monday for his third double-double of the season.