SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will not play against Golden State in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals because of a sprained left ankle.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said Leonard was not happy sitting out with the Warriors leading the series 2-0.
“Kawhi is out,” Popovich said. “I spoke to Kawhi, we spoke to everybody, we all speak about it,” Popovich said. “In the end, I guess it’s my decision. He’s not thrilled he’s not playing, but he’s not ready.”
Leonard initially injured the ankle against Houston in Game 5 of their second-round series on May 9 after inadvertently stepping on James Harden’s foot while in transition.
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Leonard aggravated the injury twice in the third quarter of Game 1 against the Warriors on May 14, including a controversial close-out by Zaza Pachulia that Popovich called “dangerous” and “unsportsmanlike.”
Leonard returned to Game 1 after stepping on the foot of teammate David Lee, who was sitting on the bench. But shortly after returning, Leonard landed on Pachulia’s foot while attempting a 3-pointer and had to be helped off the court.
Leonard, who was selected to the All-NBA first team on Friday, has not played since and has not participated in practice other than light shooting.