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Depleted Clippers lose to Suns one day after routing them


The Clippers’ injury report listed Kawhi Leonard as out with right knee inflammation, the sixth consecutive game the All-Star forward has missed, which led to Coach Ty Lue being asked if his best player’s injury could bleed into the playoffs.

“No, not at as of right now,” Lue said before the Clippers ran out of steam during their 124-108 loss to the Phoenix Suns in a rematch Wednesday night at Arena.

The Clippers have two regular-season games left before the postseason starts on April 20, so at some point they hope to be whole with Leonard back in the lineup.

They were nowhere near that in this back-to-back game against the same Suns the Clippers beat in Phoenix on Tuesday night.

The Clippers had to make it happen without Paul George (left knee soreness), James Harden (right foot inflammation), Russell Westbrook (left hand contusion) and center Ivica Zubac (left ankle inflammation).

So, it was left up to starters Amir Coffey, P.J. Tucker, Mason Plumlee, Terance Mann and Bones Hyland to hold it down.

Even depleted, Lue had his group playing hard and with a purpose against a Suns team fighting for playoff positioning in the Western Conference.

It gave Lue a chance to get an extended look at Hyland, who cooked the Suns with a career-high 37 points on 15-for-29 shooting in 43 minutes.

Hyland put on a show in the first half, hitting a step-back three-pointer to help the Clippers come back from 15 down in the second and take a 56-55 lead at the intermission.

Brandon Boston Jr. got an opportunity to play more, and he did his thing with a season-high 23 points.

Tucker added a season-high 10 points, going four-for-five from the field.

The Clippers led 106-101 in the fourth quarter, but the Suns went on a 19-2 run to open a 12-point lead L.A. could not overcome.


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