The Los Angeles Clippers will be without Nicolas Batum for the foreseeable future after the forward landed in the NBA’s COVID-19 health-and-safety protocols.
Batum was ruled out shortly before the Clippers’ 97-91 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon at the Staples Center. Clippers coach Ty Lue said he wasn’t sure how long Batum would be sidelined, or if he had specifically tested positive for the coronavirus, but that he expected him to be out for a while.
"Everyone is getting tested and a lot of guys got tested before the game," Lue said after the win, via ESPN. "So just gotta see what the results are, but it's gonna happen. Last year, we did a good job of staying away from that, but it's been something that's gonna hit everyone at some point in time. Just gotta be smart about it and make sure everyone's safe."
Batum has averaged 9.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game so far this season, his second with the Clippers. The 32-year-old is in the first year of a two-year, $6.5 million deal. He’s missed just one game so far this season due to an Achilles injury, but returned to play the next night.
The Clippers’ win on Sunday afternoon snapped a two-game losing skid after they dropped back-to-back games against the Grizzlies and Pelicans. They now hold a 10-7 record.
Paul George put up 29 points in their win against the Mavericks, who were once again without an injured Luka Doncic, and Reggie Jackson added 23. They used a huge third-quarter run, while holding Dallas to just 15 points in the period, to claim the six-point win.
"It's been a process, honestly," Jackson said, via The Associated Press. "There are games when we play well and there are games where we hit these lulls and are still trying to figure each other out. …I think we all just found easier shots today."