Spurs' Leonard Will Not Play in Game 2 of Western Conference Finals: Popovich - NBC Bay Area

Spurs' Leonard Will Not Play in Game 2 of Western Conference Finals: Popovich

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    Spurs' Leonard Will Not Play in Game 2 of Western Conference Finals: Popovich
    Getty Images
    Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs stands during player introductions prior to Game One of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriorsc at ORACLE Arena on May 14, 2017 in Oakland, California.

    With 7:55 remaining in the third quarter on Sunday, Kawhi Leonard took a jump shot and landed on Zaza Pachulia's foot.

    It was the second time Kawhi rolled his ankle in the game, and after making two free throws, he did not return.

    And Leonard will not play in Game 2 on Tuesday night.

    "Totally unnatural closeout that the league has outlawed years ago, and pays great attention to it," Gregg Popovich told reporters on Monday. "And Kawhi's not there, and you want to know how we feel about it? You want to know if that lessens our chances or not?

    "We're playing very possibly the best team in the league ... and 9.75 people out of 10 would figure the Warriors will beat the Spurs.

    "Well, we've had a pretty damn good season -- we played fairly well in the playoffs, I think we're getting better, and we're up 23 points in the third quarter against Golden State -- and Kawhi goes down like that ... that's how we feel."

    After the game, Zaza delivered a message to those who believe it was a dirty play.

    “That’s really stupid,” Zaza declared. "I don’t think I should be making (any) comment. I’m not that good to be doing intentional stuff like that. I did my part. I had to challenge the shot. It was a handoff situation and I saw that my teammate was behind the screen. I had to challenge the shot. That’s what I did. And I turned around for the rebound and that was it.

    “I hate anybody going down like that with an injury. I’m an athlete, too, so I know how it feels. I wish it’s nothing serious for him because we are colleagues at the end of the day. So we’re going to move on.”

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