Pacific Notes: Clippers, Leonard, Warriors, Lakers

The Clippers overcame deficits to get past the Mavericks and Jazz, but they admit it’s a bigger challenge to be on the brink of elimination in the Western Conference Finals, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. After losing at home to the Suns Saturday night, L.A. will need three straight wins to salvage its season, starting Monday at Phoenix.

“Definitely a different feeling,” Terance Mann said. “There’s no room for error. Just got to take it a game at a time now. Just got to try and go get Game 5 and be ready to try to force a Game 7.”

Shooting was the biggest issue for the Clippers in Game 4 as they connected at a 32.5% rate from the field and were just 5 of 31 from three-point range. They had 12 chances in the fourth quarter to tie or take the lead, but weren’t able to convert any of them.

“Just got to take it one game at a time. Just focus on Monday’s game, that’s it,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “Not focus on winning three games. Got to take it one game at a time, and that’s got to be our mindset. We beat Utah and won four games in a row. So it’s very doable. We’ve just got to make sure we’re locked in and understand what we’re doing offensively.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Kawhi Leonard is considered unlikely to return for Game 5, and Clippers teammate Paul George believes that’s the best decision, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Leonard hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury nearly two weeks ago. “I can’t speak for him, to the health of Kawhi,” George said. “If he’s not 100 (percent), we don’t want him out there. I mean, that’s just as a brother, as a teammate. His health long term is more important than what’s going on now.”
  • Landing the No. 7 pick in Tuesday’s lottery adds to the return the Warriors got in the deal that sent D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota for Andrew Wiggins, notes Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area. Russell was acquired from the Nets in a sign-and-trade for Kevin Durant, but he wasn’t in Golden State’s long-term plans. The Warriors were able to flip him to the Timberwolves for Wiggins, who is a better fit, and got valuable draft compensation as well.
  • Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times examines the benefits of the sale of a minority stake in the Lakers to Dodgers owners Mark Walter and Todd Boehly.
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