San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich says that superstar forward Kawhi Leonard will miss Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals due to a sprained ankle, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com.
Leonard originally injured his ankle in Game 5 of the Spurs’ second-round series against the Houston Rockets. He missed San Antonio’s series-clinching Game 6 win but returned for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
With the Spurs leading the Warriors by 23 points in the third quarter, Leonard came down on the foot of Golden State big man Zaza Pachulia and re-aggravated the injury.
Leonard did not return in Game 1, and San Antonio blew its lead in a 113-111 loss. The 2014 Finals MVP then proceeded to miss Game 2.
Popovich was irate after Game 1, implying that Pachulia may have intentionally slid his foot under Leonard and said that Pachulia has a history.
Leonard, who was just voted to the All-NBA First Team, had registered 26 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes before exiting that contest.
The 25-year-old had the best season of his career in 2016-17, averaging 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from three-point range.
Leonard’s production has been even stronger in the playoffs, averaging 27.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists a night. He is shooting 52.5 percent from the field and is connecting on 45.5 percent of his long-range tries while also hitting 93.1 percent of his free-throw attempts.
Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals is Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET. You can catch the action on ESPN.
The Warriors currently lead the series 2-0.