All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard, sidelined by a sprained left ankle, is questionable for Game 3 against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals on Saturday, the Spurs announced Friday.
Golden State pulled out a 113-111 victory in the series opener Sunday after Leonard left the game when he re-injured his ankle in the third quarter. The Spurs played Game 2 on Tuesday without Leonard, and the Warriors rolled to a 136-100 rout to take a 2-0 lead.
“It’s getting better, just got to keep waiting day to day,” Leonard said, when asked how his injured ankle was feeling. “I’ve been at practice, just watching and things. But just a lot of treatment.”
Asked if he thought he would be ready to play in Game 3, Leonard said: “Just day to day, really, see how it feels tomorrow.”
He added that he’ll have “a lot of input” on whether he plays.
“If I feel good, I’m going to play,” he said.
Game 3 is at 8 p.m. Saturday at the AT&T Center.
After Game 1, Leonard said he was in extreme pain after re-injuring the ankle.
What’s the pain like now?
“I’m not sure,” he said. “I mean, it’s still not ready. But, I mean, it’s just questionable for tomorrow. I could be feeling way better. So, we’ll see tomorrow.”
Leonard originally sprained his left ankle in Game 5 of the Spurs’ 110-107 overtime victory against Houston in Game 5 of the conference finals. He missed the last half of the fourth quarter and all of OT, and did not play in the series-clinching win in Game 6 two nights later.
Leonard originally sprained his left ankle in Game 5 of the Spurs’ 110-107 overtime victory against Houston in Game 5 of the conference semifinals. He missed the last half of the fourth quarter and all of OT, and did not play in the series-clinching win in Game 6 two nights later.
The Spurs led Golden State 76-55 in their series opener when Leonard re-injured his ankle shooting a jumper from the corner with 7:55 left in the third quarter. TV replays showed Warriors center Zaza Pachulia undercutting Leonard as he contested the shot.
Leonard turned his left ankle as he stepped on Pachulia’s left foot. Pachulia was whistled for a foul on the play, and found himself in the center of controversy after many on social media questioned whether he had tried to injure Leonard intentionally. Leonard said after the game that he didn’t think Pachulia was intentionally trying to injure him.
Leonard was dismissive of the question when he was asked about the play Friday.
“I’m just focused on getting healthy and getting ready to play for Game 3,” he said. “I’m not worried about that.”
Ironically, Pachulia sustained a right heel contusion early in Game 2 and is questionable for Game 3.
The Spurs were overwhelmed by Golden State in Game 2 without Leonard, who watched the game from the team’s hotel.
“It’s frustrating,” he said. “You work all year to get to this point and not being able to help the team win a game, or just being able to play, is all very frustrating.”
Sparked by Stephen Curry’s four 3-pointers, the Warriors led 33-16 after one quarter. They were ahead 72-44 at halftime and were up 106-75 heading into the fourth period. Golden State was so dominant that it had more assists (39) than the Spurs had made field goals (37).
“Our offense was a little stagnant at times,” Leonard said. “Defense wasn’t there. They also got a lot of rebounds. I mean, obviously, their guys played great, but it’s stuff that we can do to help ourselves either win a game or even make it close.”
Leonard acknowledged that there’s a fine line between playing with a little pain and risking further injury.
“Definitely,” he said. “But I mean, we’re eight games away from the ultimate goal. So, you know, that’s just my mindset at the moment, just trying to get better.”
The Spurs led Game 1 78-55 when Leonard went out with 7:53 left in the third quarter. Trailing by 25 in the first quarter, the Warriors went on an 18-0 run after Leonard’s exit to get back in the game.