Clippers' Kawhi Leonard out against Mavericks and possibly longer

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, left, is defended by Denver Nuggets guards Jamal Murray (center) and PJ Dozier in the second half of Friday in Denver. (David Zalubowski / Associated Press)
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A ripped mouth sustained during a Christmas win in Denver will result in Clippers star Kawhi Leonard missing Sunday's game against Dallas and his availability for games later this week remains unclear.
Coach Ty Lue did not offer a possible schedule for Leonard's return when asked before Picking Sunday.
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"Hopefully he's fine, I'm not sure yet," said Lue.
Eight stitches were required to close an injury to the left side of Leonard's face in Denver on Friday after the striker was accidentally flexed on rebound by teammate Serge Ibaka. Lue said after that game that he believed Leonard would be "okay" and teammates who had seen Leonard in the locker room described him in better shape than they originally feared.
Clippers striker Kawhi Leonard will be escorted off the pitch in the second half against the Denver Nuggets on Friday in Denver. (David Zalubowski / Associated Press)
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Two hours before Sunday's tip, Leonard watched teammates warm up from the baseline at the Staples Center, a ball under one arm, but didn't participate before leaving the pitch.
The Clippers (2-0) will start reserve guard Luke Kennard instead of Leonard against the Mavericks (0-2), Lue said.
Leonard had averaged 23.5 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.5 rebounds at 45% shooting in his first two games, including 25% shooting from three-point range, while doing well after an off-season was enough to train, played faster and more physically.
"He's a great player so it's a break from a competitive standpoint, but they're very deep," said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle. "With where we are and how we had some real inconsistencies in the first two games, that's how we have to look at it, no matter who is out there we have to go into it with all our might."
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
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