Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Jusuf Nurkic out for Suns-Clippers

Apr 8, 2024, 6:07 PM | Updated: Apr 9, 2024, 5:45 pm

Kawhi Leonard...

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives against Jusuf Nurkic #20 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half at Footprint Center on January 03, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns on Tuesday will take on a Los Angeles Clippers team that is without superstars Kawhi Leonard and James Harden.

The Clippers ruled Leonard out with right knee inflammation for what will be his fifth straight game missed, while Harden is down with right foot inflammation.

Phoenix center Jusuf Nurkic is also out with a right ankle sprain, but the rest of the Suns’ injury report — minus Damion Lee (meniscus) — was clean. Drew Eubanks will start in Nurkic’s place.

Russell Westbrook will start for Harden.

The Western Conference counterparts face each other again Wednesday in Los Angeles as the regular season nears its end. Both teams have four games left.

Leonard was an All-Star this season and averages 23.7 points on 52.5% shooting (41.7% from deep) and 6.1 rebounds. The Clippers are 6-4 without him in the mix.

He has scored 47 points between L.A.’s two wins over the Suns this season. Leonard put up 69 points in two games at Footprint Center during the first round of the playoffs last year, but he missed the remainder of the series to a knee injury.

Harden had a pair of double-doubles against the Suns earlier this year. He is averaging 16.7 points and 8.6 assists this year.

Nurkic was questionable for Phoenix’s Friday victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves with left calf soreness, but he suited up and scored 11 points. Nurkic played 31 minutes in a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday and scored six points with 10 rebounds. He has at least 10 rebounds in each of his last four games but appeared to roll his ankle in the first half against New Orleans.

His status for Wednesday is uncertain. Thaddeus Young and Bol Bol could see time at the 5 on Tuesday.

The Clippers enter the matchup as the Western Conference’s No. 4 seed at 50-28, four games up on No. 6 seed Phoenix at 46-32.

There remains a slim possibility the two could meet in the first round of the playoffs again, but the Suns are two games back of the Dallas Mavericks for fifth and Los Angeles is three back of the Oklahoma City Thunder for third.

Tuesday’s game tips off at 7 p.m. on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app.

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