Leonard departed Tuesday's Game 5 due to a left ankle injury but quickly answered "Yeah, I'm going to be able to play" when quizzed during Wednesday's off-day media availability. But can they repeat that success in Game 6? For years, we kept talking about how the Spurs seamlessly shifted players in and out and depended on Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili to anchor their system, and in five games against the Heat, it was on full display.
The Houston Rockets had a massive opportunity to outscore the San Antonio Spurs before tripping in overtime in Game 5 of their Western Conference Semifinal series in the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
San Antonio is heading to the Western Conference finals for the 13th time thanks to a player who has never been there.
"Competitors are competitors", said Popovich. "They played well at the offensive end with a lot of sense and defensively it was one of our best nights".
"Kawhi's out", Popovich told reporters about 90 minutes before tipoff. You can listen to San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets Game 6 live steam as well as all other games in the 2017 NBA Playoffs by signing up with a one-time payment of $9.99.
He is averaging 27.8 points per game during the playoffs.
"Everybody picked it up", Popovich said. We've been fighting through adversity and really good at bouncing back.
Leonard arrived at Houston's Toyota Center with a noticeable limp.
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"I was trying to keep them in front of me", Harden said.
But you know they are. But he looked OK.
He finished with 12 points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Harden scored 5 points in each half, which is more than a lackluster performance from him. It wasn't about any one player, but about how the Spurs did it as a complete team. He also made a foul shot down the stretch to help San Antonio hold on.
Naturally, the internet responded as you would expect it to by savagely roasting Harden into oblivion after the game. "Execution and rebounding are probably the two primary things we let slip away". Now that San Antonio has eliminated Houston, it heads to the Bay Area to play the Warriors.
Jonathon Simmons filled in nicely for Leonard, scoring 18 points and hounding the Rockets on defence. The Warriors were 3-1 against the Rockets this season, but history is on the side of the Spurs. It's like they didn't even give Houston a say in the matter. San Antonio won 110-107.
Pau Gasol tallied 10 points with 11 rebounds for San Antonio, which trailed 5-4 in the first quarter before coasting to the win. (It) could have gone for any of the two. "This was a good series and we're moving on, but we're not satisfied".
But they won't have much time to celebrate with a series against the well-rested Golden State Warriors starting on Sunday.
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