NBA

NBA playoffs 2021: Paul cleared to play Game 3, Clippers' Kawhi ruled out again

Chris Paul should make his return against the Los Angeles Clippers, who won't have Kawhi Leonard for Game 3 in the NBA playoffs.

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NBA playoffs 2021: Paul listed as 'probable' for Game 3, Clippers' Kawhi ruled out again

Phoenix Suns' Chris Paul has been cleared to play Game 3 of their Western Conference Finals series against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday after passing a cardio exam, while Kawhi Leonard has been ruled out.

Paul has missed the opening two games of the Conference Finals series, which the second-seeded Suns claimed in Arizona, having been placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Suns star Paul, 36, entered the protocols last Wednesday and is understood to be asymptomatic, having previously tested positive for coronavirus.

Paul has averaged 15.7 points, 8.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game this postseason.

Leonard not ready yet

Meanwhile, the Clippers confirmed star forward Kawhi Leonard will not play in Game 3 due to a sprained right knee sustained on June 14.

Leonard will miss his fifth consecutive game because of the injury.

In the Western Conference semi-finals, the Clippers won both Game 5 and 6 against top seeds the Utah Jazz without Leonard after suffering the injury late in Game 4.

Leonard has averaged 30.4 points, 4.4 assists and 7.7 rebounds per game in this season's NBA playoffs.