Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs to Miss Game Two of Western Conference Finals

Despite+Leonard%27s+injury+and+removal+from+the+rest+of+the+game%2C+The+Spurs+game+back+from+a+23+point+deficit+to+win+the+game+113-+111.
Despite Leonard's injury and removal from the rest of the game, The Spurs game back from a 23 point deficit to win the game 113- 111.

Despite Leonard's injury and removal from the rest of the game, The Spurs game back from a 23 point deficit to win the game 113- 111.

Photo courtesy of espn.com

Photo courtesy of espn.com

Despite Leonard's injury and removal from the rest of the game, The Spurs game back from a 23 point deficit to win the game 113- 111.

Ramon Alvarado, Staff Writer

For two- and- a- half quarters of their game one Western Conference Finals matchup in Golden State, the San Antonio Spurs dominated the Warriors. The Spurs were propelled by the outstanding play of Kawhi Leonard on the offensive and defensive end. Leonard aggravated a prior ankle injury midway through the third quarter after landing on the Warriors’ Zaza Pachulia’s foot, however. Leonard missed the rest of the game and the Warriors came back from a 23- point deficit to win the game by two, 113- 111.

The Spurs were in prime position to steal home-court advantage from the Warriors. The game was right in their hands before Leonard went down. The absence of Leonard put a stall to the San Antonio offense and the defense seemed to have lost its core. He had 26 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals before heading to the locker room in the third.

Monday morning, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich came out and said that Leonard will likely miss game two of the conference finals. The heated Popovich called out the Warriors’ Pachulia for his play on Leonard in the process.

“A two- step, lead with your foot close-out is not appropriate. It’s dangerous, it’s unsportsmanlike, it’s just not what anybody does to anybody else,” Popovich said. “And this particular individual [Pachulia] has a history with that kind of action.”

Popovich went on and brought up many other incidents Pachulia has been involved in. Then he responded to the media in a very intense tone after they asked if Leonard’s injury impacted his team.

“Think about the history that he’s had, and what that means to a team… and Kawhi’s not there. And you wanna know how we feel about it. You wanna know if that lessens our chances or not. We’re playing very possibly the best team in the league… We’re [the Spurs] were up 23 points in the third quarter against Golden State and Kawhi goes down, like that. And you wanna know if our chances are less?”

The Spurs and Warriors will battle at Oracle Arena once again for game two on Tuesday, May 16. San Antonio’s chances aren’t looking too good with Leonard due to sit out. It wouldn’t be smart to count them out, though. The Spurs beat the Houston Rockets by 39 points in the close- out game of the previous round without Leonard. They’ll need their entire roster to step their game up a notch if they want to defeat the star-studded Warriors at “Roaracle.”

 

 

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Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs to Miss Game Two of Western Conference Finals