Leonard out, Harris' status in doubt for Sixers-Clippers matchup

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The 38-17, first-place Sixers can extend their winning streak to four games Friday night, but it likely won’t be an easy task.

Here are the essentials for their game vs. the 39-18 Clippers:

  • When: 7 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 6:15 p.m. 
  • Where: Wells Fargo Center 
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia  
  • Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the MyTeams app 

And here are three storylines to watch: 

Clippers are streaking 

The Clippers have won seven straight games and 13 of 15. The team is No. 1 in net rating and offensive rating since March 20, per Cleaning the Glass.

The Sixers were one of the teams the Clippers beat during that successful stretch. Joel Embiid was sidelined by his left knee bone bruise on March 27 for Los Angeles’ 122-112 win. 

The last time Embiid played against the Clippers was one of the 2019-20 Sixers’ best overall performances. With Al Horford shifting to a sixth man role, Embiid and Simmons each scored 26 points in the Sixers’ victory on Feb. 11 of last year. 

Which stars will play? 

Kawhi Leonard (right foot soreness) won't play Friday, Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said. According to Lue, Paul George missed shootaround due to an illness and will be a game-time decision. 

Sixers head coach Doc Rivers classified Tobias Harris (right knee soreness) as "doubtful" during his pregame media availability but didn't rule him out. Dwight Howard (left knee soreness) is questionable, too. 

Harris has been experiencing “a little aching” in his knee, he said Wednesday night. Though the Sixers’ chances of beating Los Angeles would take a hit if Harris is out, his long-term health obviously should be a priority for the team. If Harris doesn’t play, perhaps 10-day contract signee Anthony Tolliver will make his Sixers debut. 

Serge Ibaka (lower back tightness), Patrick Beverley (left hand fourth metacarpal fracture) and George Hill (right hand surgery) have been ruled out.

Bench players to watch 

Terance Mann was an X-factor in this season’s first Sixers-Clippers matchup, scoring 23 points off the bench on 10-for-12 shooting. Rivers will presumably highlight Mann in the Sixers’ pregame preparation. There’s no question Rivers will focus on transition defense. 

Shake Milton is another bench player worth mentioning, and not just because of that 39-point afternoon in Los Angeles last year. He’s averaged 14.8 points and 2.7 assists over his last 15 games, shooting 40.4 percent from three-point range. Milton has scored in double figures in 36 of his 47 games this year. 

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