The Los Angeles Clippers will have to erase a 2-0 deficit to the Utah Jazz in their second-round playoff series without the services of big man Serge Ibaka.
Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania and multiple other outlets, the Clippers confirmed Friday that Ibaka has undergone surgery to repair a lingering back problem and won’t play again during the playoffs.
Ibaka has been sidelined since he made a brief appearance versus the Dallas Mavericks on May 25 and, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, missed 30 consecutive contests during the regular season because of his back. The 31-year-old averaged 11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game before the start of the postseason tournament.
Friday’s development officially eliminates any chance of Ibaka attempting to handle Utah’s Rudy Gobert and makes the task at hand all the more difficult for the Clippers.
Game 3 between the Clippers and Jazz is Saturday night at 8:30 ET in Los Angeles.