Warriors vs. Clippers: Western Conference Favorites to Play with and against Injuries

Warriors vs. Clippers: Western Conference Favorites to Play with and against Injuries

The second game of an NBA on TNT doubleheader Tuesday is a potential Western Conference playoff preview as the Golden State Warriors visit the Los Angeles Clippers, but it won’t look much like a postseason preview on the Warriors’ side as they for sure will be without the injured Steph Curry and might rest Klay Thompson – although might not– in the second of a back-to-back. Kawhi Leonard will play for the Clippers, who are 9-point favorites on the NBA odds.

Tuesday Warriors vs. Clippers Injuries: Kawhi Leonard Back, Klay Thompson Could Actually Play


When: Tuesday, February 14th, 2023
Where: Crypto.com Arena

Time: 10:00 PM EST


Curry has been out since Feb. 4 with partial tears in two lower-leg ligaments and he will not even be ready to return immediately after the upcoming All-Star break. Unlike when Curry suffered a left shoulder subluxation in December, which just had to get to a point where Curry wouldn’t reinjure it or put himself in jeopardy, this injury has to heal fully before he can return to play.

“It’s all dictated around how this heals,” Curry said Monday. “This is different than the shoulder (injury), where it was pretty predictable where I would be able to get to a point where I could play and not re-injure it or put myself in jeopardy out there on the floor. This one’s different because ligaments can heal on all different types of timelines. So there’s like a window for each checkpoint. After the All-Star break, I’m going to hopefully get back on the court. Then depending on how things go from there, you can start to key in on a specific date to get back.”

The Warriors play six games in nine days after returning from the break. It seems unlikely that Curry can climb back in that condensed timeframe. So Curry’s absence likely will extend into March when there will be fewer than 20 games left in the season. The Warriors are 9-10 this season without Curry in the lineup (2-2 since Curry’s recent injury suffered on Feb. 4 vs. Dallas).

The Dubs did end a two-game losing streak Monday with a 135-126 win over Washington. Andrew Wiggins was in question but had 29 points, seven rebounds and four assists. The 29 points were the most Wiggins has scored in a game since December 3, when he put up 36 in his final game before going down with a strained groin that would sideline him for a month.


Thompson was excellent in the win with 27 points, five assists and four rebounds he has scored at least 27 points in three of his last four games. Thompson hasn’t played both ends of a back-to-back this season but Coach Steve Kerr said it’s possible he might play tonight because then the team is off for more than a week due to the All-Star break. Big man JaMychal Green hurt his wrist during Monday’s game against the Wizards after scoring 14 points with five assists and two steals in 16 minutes.

The Warriors have two games this season in which they recorded at least 20 3-pointers and 40 assists to become the first NBA team to do so in a single season. Golden State has a 20-3 record this season when opponents score less than 115 points. The league average for scoring is 114.3 points per game, the highest since 1969-70 (116.7 ppg).

The Clippers have been off since a second straight loss Friday, 119-106 at home to Milwaukee. Leonard got the night off but will play here. He’s averaging 28.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.0 steals over his last five appearances. It also will be the LA debut of three trade additions in Mason Plumlee, Eric Gordon and Bones Hyland.

Plumlee was dealt from the Hornets to the Clippers on Thursday in exchange for Reggie Jackson and a 2028 second-round pick. Plumlee averaged 15.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists in his last 10 contests as a Hornet. Gordon averaged 13.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists across 30.2 minutes per game over his 47 appearances with the Rockets this season. Hyland averaged 12.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists across 19.5 minutes over his 41 appearances with Denver.

These teams haven’t met since November when the Clippers lost 124-107 at Golden State. Wiggins led the Warriors with 31 points. Curry added 22 points, nine assists and six rebounds, while Thompson scored 18 points. Neither Leonard nor Paul George played for LA.

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