The San Antonio Spurs jumped out to a 30-16 lead after the first quarter in game one of the Western Conference Finals. From there the Golden State Warriors seemed out of answers to hold down the Spurs offense as the halftime score would be 62-42, advantage Spurs. The start of the third quarter would see the Spurs boost their lead to a game-high 25 points. Halfway through the third quarter trouble arose for the Spurs when Kawhi Leonard turned his ankle on a teammate’s feet as he backed up from shooting a corner three. Leonard would remain in the game at this point until deja-vu struck again. This time Warriors Center, Zaza Pachulia would contest one of Leonard’s jump shot. As Leonard came down he would turn the same ankle again on Pachulia’s foot. Leonard stayed in the game to shoot the free-throws only to be eventually taken out and later ruled out for the rest of the game.
A double digit Spurs lead was erased quickly as Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant spearheaded the Warriors comeback in the late third and entire fourth quarter. Curry scored 27 of his 40 points in the second-half and finished with seven rebounds and three assists. Durant would score 20 of his 34 points in the second-half while blocking four shots in the game. The offensive outburst from two of the Warriors All-Stars was a combined 47 points and almost outscored San Antonio in the second-half. The Spurs only managed 49 points in the second-half.
Leonard would finish with 26 points on 7-of-13 shooting and eight rebounds prior to leaving the game early with his ankle injury. His status for game two remains unknown as he will undergo an MRI and further evaluation. When asked if the play by Pachulia was intentional to sweep under his feet Leonard said, “No. He was contesting the shot. The shot clock was coming down. I’ll have to see the play.”
The Spurs were led by LaMarcus Alridge who finished with 28 points and eight rebounds. The starting back court for the Spurs, made up of Danny Green and Patty Mills finished with a combined 13 points on 4-of-13 shooting from the field. The bench support from Manu Ginobili and Jonathon Simmons helped boosted the Spurs offensively. Ginobili would finish with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting while Simmons chipped in with 12 points off the bench.
Game two is in Golden State on Tuesday night. Tip-off is at 9:00 PM EST on ESPN.