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Clippers preparing to have Leonard for Game 1 against Mavericks

Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers Kawhi Leonard - The Canadian Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard has yet to practice five-on-five with the Los Angeles Clippers as they prepare to face the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.

Leonard hasn't played in a game since March 31 because of inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee. The best-of-7 series begins Sunday in Los Angeles.

“I'm preparing to have him on the court,” coach Tyronn Lue said Wednesday. “We just take it day-by-day. He's getting better and we'll see how much he continues to progress.”

Lue apologized to the media for his obvious frustration at repeated questions about Leonard's health. The team hasn't made Leonard available to speak for himself.

Teammate Norman Powell demurred when asked how Leonard looked after his limited participation in Tuesday's practice.

“That's not on me to answer, man,” he said. “I let the organization and the coach talk about the status of Kawhi.”

Leonard played in 68 games during the regular season, the most since 2016-17 when he appeared in 74 with the San Antonio Spurs and the most since joining the Clippers four years ago. The All-Star forward averaged 23.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists.