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Kawhi Leonard's back spasms are the latest injury concern for the Los Angeles Clippers. The All-Star forward departed the Clippers' loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday after the first quarter, but he did travel with the team for its upcoming two-game road trip. Whether or not Leonard will be available for those games remains unclear. 

Leonard sat out of the Clippers' loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday with left groin soreness, but was back in the starting lineup on Tuesday to face the Wolves. He had a strong start, registering six points, two rebounds and two assists in the first quarter, as the Clippers built an early double-digit lead, but was unable to continue. 

In fact, his back spasms were so bad that he left the arena and went home where he would be more comfortable, according to the TNT broadcast. Cameras filmed him walking slowly out of the tunnel. 

"Wasn't sure if he was going to go this morning," Lue said. "But he came to shootaround, got some treatment, did what he had to do and tried to get on the court and played today. It just didn't loosen up for him."

At this time, Leonard does not appear to be facing a lengthy absence, but there is always extra concern regarding a back issue. Leonard's own extensive injury history only adds to the worry. The 58 games he's played this season are already the most he's ever played since signing with the Clippers back in 2019. During that time, he suffered a torn ACL and a torn meniscus. 

The Clippers were borderline unbeatable during the middle of the season, but have slowed down in recent weeks. Tuesday's loss was their second in a row, and they're now 5-6 since the All-Star break. Even more worrying, they're 1-6 against teams with a winning record and 4-0 against teams heading to the lottery. 

As a result, they are now 3.5 games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets, and essentially out of the race for the top spot in the Western Conference. The bigger concern is holding off the red-hot New Orleans Pelicans for fourth place and home-court advantage in the first round. Though the Clippers are currently two games up, the teams play each other on Friday and the Pelicans can seal the season series with a win. 

If Leonard is unable to play versus the Pels, that would be bad news for the Clippers. 

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