Kawhi Leonard ruled out of game six with ankle injury

Clyde Nash
May 13, 2017

And as fun as it was to watch the Rockets and Spurs duel down the stretch of Game 5 Tuesday, did the possibility of no Kawhi Leonard in Game 6 ruin the ending for you the way it did me?

Veteran Manu Ginobili pulled off an astonishing defensive block of James Harden as the Rockets star shaped for a game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds of overtime at San Antonio's AT&T Centre. Jonathon Simmons was the primary defender for all 4 Harden TO.

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The Spurs already were without Tony Parker, who will miss the rest of the playoffs after surgery to fix a ruptured left quadriceps tendon. Harden, who finished with nine turnovers, said he was not worn out despite playing 43 minutes. Leonard and Patty Mills each scored 20-plus points and LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in with 18 points. But he insisted that he's fine and will be ready to go on Thursday. "It was frustrating because I wanted to play". He has knocked down a 3-pointer in every game so far, averaging 2 makes. The Spurs were tied with the Rockets 101- 101.

Ginobili, having an atrocious series in what is once again is projected to be one final run in the playoffs for the future hall of famer, woke up in game 5 to deliver a vintage performance.

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"We let one slip away", Harden said. They can't expect Pau Gasol to revert back to peak Pau. Simmons, who has been shooting OK in the playoffs, shot just 29.4% from three for the season, and was 0 for 4 on wide open threes in Game 5. A day off isn't going to magically heal an ankle that was bad enough to keep him on the bench for so many crucial possession in the Spurs most crucial game of the season. They led by as much as 22 points and finished the half leading 61-42. "A bunch of competitive guys, they play way more confident at home.it's going to be about taking care of the ball, playing confident, just trying to minimize our mistakes out there". It will be interesting to see if D'Antoni employs the seven-man rotation on Thursday or if he gives second-year players Sam Dekker or Montrezl Harrell a chance to contribute. "I made a bad, bad read on that play".

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His absence in overtime was a concern, not only for the result of Game 5 but for his status moving forward. Kawhi Leonard sat the last few minutes of regulation and all of overtime with a (probably) ankle sprain.

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