Clippers’ Paul George is out for play-in against Pelicans due to health and safety protocols

Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George will not play in Friday’s play-in game against the New Orleans Pelicans due to health and safety protocols, the team said. Friday’s game will determine the Western Conference No. 8.

George was not feeling well Thursday and the Clippers learned of his diagnosis Friday morning, basketball operations president Lawrence Frank said.

“Those who’ve followed our team all year, the group has grappled with challenges all year, we’ve had guys in and out of the lineup, we’ve dealt with overcoming big deficits,” Frank said. “And yet this group has always responded, obviously a very resilient group.”

George recently returned to the Clippers lineup after missing three months with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. In six games since his return, including a play-in loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, George has averaged 24.5 points and 6.5 assists per game. For the season, he led Los Angeles in points per game (24.3) in 31 games.

Los Angeles lost 109-104 to Minnesota to drop into Friday’s playoff game. The Pelicans kept their season alive with a win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

Either the Clippers or the Pelicans will face the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs.

Frank too called Friday that Clippers star Kawhi Leonard is making progress in his recovery from a cruciate ligament rupture in his right knee, but there’s no timeline for his return just yet.

Follow for more The Athletics Live updates on the play-in tournament here.

(Photo: Nick Wosika / USA TODAY Sports) Clippers’ Paul George is out for play-in against Pelicans due to health and safety protocols

Olly Dawes

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