The Clippers got a scare in the fourth quarter when Kawhi Leonard was the victim of some friendly fire. Leonard took an elbow from his teammate Serge Ibaka and went down. When the broadcast returned to Leonard, he was on the floor with blood flowing out of his face onto his arm.
The replay indicated that Leonard had taken the hit to his mouth, which provided some level of comfort, and he walked off the floor under his own power. He missed the remaining 6:07 of the game, but head coach Ty Lue gave some reassuring comments about his superstar.
“He’s still getting evaluated right now,” Lue said postgame. “He’s gonna be fine, he got up and walked off the floor so he’s good.”
Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN reported afterwards that Leonard received eight stitches due to the mouth laceration.
Kawhi Leonard had to get eight stitches due to a mouth laceration.— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) December 26, 2020
The team rallied on Leonard’s behalf when he had to leave. Ibaka scored the first points after accidentally knocking his friend out of the game, pushing the lead to 14 and preventing the Nuggets from ever getting within single digits.
The Clippers now have a quick turnaround. They head home and face the Mavericks on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. in Staples Center, so there isn’t much time for Leonard to recover if it is determined that he suffered any sort of head injury on the play. It’s good to hear that Lue has a positive attitude about the situation, because it was a scary incident in real time. Hopefully, Leonard has a swift recovery.