The Los Angeles Clippers will have to erase a 2-0 deficit against the Utah Jazz in their second-round playoff series without the services of big man Serge Ibaka.
For Shams Charania of Athletic and many other outlets, the Clippers confirmed Friday that Ibaka underwent surgery to repair a nagging back problem and will not play again during the playoffs.
Ibaka has been sidelined since he made a brief appearance against the Dallas Mavericks on May 25 and, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he missed 30 straight games 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 trying to handle Utah’s Rudy Gobert and makes the task at hand even more difficult for the Clippers.
Game 3 between the Clippers and Jazz is Saturday night at 8:30 ET in Los Angeles.