Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard leaves game with back spasms


Clippers star Kawhi Leonard left Los Angeles’ Tuesday home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves after one quarter due to back spasms, and it’s possible he could miss additional action.

Leonard, 32, played all 12 minutes of the first quarter, scoring six points on 2-of-4 shooting to go along with two rebounds and two assists. He missed the Clippers’ 124-117 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday because of left groin soreness.

On the TNT broadcast, Leonard could be seen walking back to the Clippers’ locker room in the second quarter, and then leaving the locker room in street clothes.

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said postgame, “He’s been dealing with (back spasms) for a couple days. … Wasn’t sure if he was going to go this morning, but he came to shootaround, got some treatment, did what he had to do and tried to get on the court and play today. And it just didn’t loosen up for him.”

Asked if Leonard would travel with the team for games at Chicago on Thursday and New Orleans on Friday, Lue said, “Not sure. I hope so.”

Leonard had been listed on the injury report before the Tuesday game due to groin soreness and was questionable, but he was in the starting lineup.

The Clippers led 34-21 after one quarter and had a 22-point lead nearly seven minutes through the second quarter before the Timberwolves pulled off a 20-2 run after Leonard departed. Minnesota went on to win 118-100.

Leonard is averaging 23.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists through 58 games (all starts) this season. In 12 NBA seasons, he has averaged 20.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 686 games (657 starts).