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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have been benched by the Los Angeles Clippers for the next month. On the plus side, it seems like Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson will be back in the lineup soon.
Morris passed the NBA’s health and safety requirements and was permitted to return to team activities, the Clippers said on Sunday. Morris warmed up for Sunday’s game but was ruled out due to “return to competitive conditioning,” according to the club.
Marcus Morris is warming up for the Clippers after exiting the NBA’s health and safety regulations.
He’s on the shelf tonight with a’return to competition conditioning’ diagnosis. twitter.com/rSbdbnbCOm
December 27, 2021 — Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly)
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Morris has missed the Clippers’ past four games after testing positive for COVID-19 on December 17. Morris looked sprightly in the warm-ups, but head coach Tyronn Lue is likely to be cautious as the forward nears 100 percent.
“I know we hear the next-man-up mindset,” Lue said before the game, referring to Paul George’s absence. “We’ve done it before for periods of time, and now it’ll take a bit longer than we anticipated with both Kawhi and PG, but Reggie and Marcus will be back shortly.”
“It’s got to be one game at a time.” We did lose PG for two weeks, as you said, but we also had Reggie and Marcus for a portion of that time. With those two players out, you lose your top four scorers in Kawhi, PG, Marcus, and Reggie, but as I said before, our young guys must step up and compete. They’ll make errors, and we’ll have to be patient in that area, but as I previously said, I’m optimistic that we have a lot in this locker room and that we can still get it done. No one is going to feel sorry for us; everyone is going through the same thing right now, therefore the most important thing for us is to keep building habits and trying to win as many games as we can.
Reggie Jackson has missed the Clippers’ past two games due to health and safety rules, after participating in the first 31 games of the season. Jackson is in high spirits, according to Ty Lue, and isn’t showing any signs of illness.
“Reggie said that he is in excellent health and has no symptoms. Marcus will be returning soon, which is fantastic, and we don’t have a timeframe for Isaiah yet. We’re going to keep it together till they return, and I believe we’ll be alright.”
Marcus Morris had been on fire in his past seven games, averaging 18.4 points and 5.9 rebounds on 50 percent shooting from the field and 46.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Reggie Jackson has averaged 17.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game this season. After a blazing start last season, Jackson has struggled with his shot, shooting 39.1 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from 3-point range.
With a painful defeat to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, the Clippers fell to 17-16, but they remain in fifth place in the Western Conference while a lot of teams around them struggle to win. The Lakers’ next game is against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. The Nets have recently reintroduced James Harden to the lineup, but it’s unclear when Kevin Durant will return from his protocol.
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