Clippers star Kawhi Leonard was forced to leave Friday night’s game early after an errant elbow from teammate Serge Ibaka connected with his face, sending him to the floor and causing him to bleed profusely from his mouth. While the injury looked bad initially, head coach Tyronn Lue said after the game that he thought Leonard would be “fine,” tweets Malika Andrews of ESPN.
The collision left Leonard requiring eight stitches to treat a mouth laceration, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. However, Nicolas Batum said he spoke to Kawhi after the game and agreed with Lue’s assessment that the two-time Finals MVP should ultimately be fine.
“You don’t want a player, any player, (to) go down like that with blood all over him and everywhere on the floor,” Batum said. “I think he’s good. I just saw him in the locker room; he was OK, and that was kind of scary in the moment.”
Here’s more from around the Pacific:
- Addressing rumors that he and the Lakers may attempt to work out an in-season extension, point guard Dennis Schröder said on Friday night that he’s “very comfortable” with his new team and is interested in negotiating a new deal in the coming months as long as it’s fair for both sides, tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic.
- After going scoreless in his Lakers debut, newly-signed center Marc Gasol expressed confidence that he’ll bounce back and find his fit going forward, as Buha writes for The Athletic. While Gasol only scored two points on Friday and has yet to make a field goal, he was more effective in the Lakers’ blowout win over Dallas, grabbing nine rebounds and avoiding the foul trouble that plagued him in the opener.
- Damian Jones‘ 2020/21 salary was initially set to become fully guaranteed at the start of the regular season, but he and the Suns have agreed to push that deadline back to February 25, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).