The San Antonio Spurs can advance to the Western Conference finals with a win over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night, but they’ll have to do so without Kawhi Leonard.
Prior to Game 6 of the teams’ second-round NBA playoff series, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich announced the star forward would be sidelined for the contest due to an ankle injury.
Leonard first sustained the injury in Game 5 on Tuesday night. While turning to run up the court late in the third quarter, Leonard came down on the foot of Rockets guard James Harden and turned his ankle in the process. He’d try to tough it out, but ended up going to the bench in the final minutes of the game, which the Spurs ultimately won 110-107 in overtime.
After Game 5, Leonard initially was confident he’d suit up for Game 6 despite the injury.
This is the second tough injury San Antonio has faced in this series. In Game 2, Tony Parker ruptured his left quadriceps tendon, which required season-ending surgery.
The Rockets will look to take advantage of the hobbled Spurs and force a Game 7 on Sunday afternoon.
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