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Report: Clippers’ Serge Ibaka out again for Game 4 vs. Mavs with back injury

Serge Ibaka, Clippers, Luka Doncic, Mavs

Los Angeles Clippers big man Serge Ibaka is expected to miss a second straight game against the Dallas Mavericks due to his back injury, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Ibaka missed Friday night’s Game 3 victory over the Mavs and will now miss Sunday night’s crucial Game 4.

Ibaka also missed 30 straight games in the regular season before coming back right before the playoffs. He then played limited minutes in Games 1 and 2 before sitting out Game 3.

The Clippers signed Ibaka away from the Toronto Raptors last offseason to be a versatile starting big man. He started in 39 of 41 games played in the regular season and averaged 11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds in 23.3 minutes per game.

This back injury continues to be problematic, though, leaving LA in a tough spot as it tries to battle back in this series. The Clippers could use Ibaka’s presence as they try to slow down Luka Doncic, who has been absolutely on fire so far. Doncic is expected to suit up in Sunday night’s Game 4 despite a neck injury.

LA is down 2-1 in the series and trying to even things up after losing the first two games at home. With Ibaka out, Ivica Zubac and Marcus Morris have been starting in the frontcourt, but the Clippers have been using plenty of smaller lineups.