Spurs All-Star Kawhi Leonard hit a corner three in the third quarter but while running back up the court, he tripped on David Lee’s feet on the bench and turned his ankle:
Leonard immediately grimaced in pain but he re-tied his shoe and tried to give it a go. However after a few plays, Leonard asked to come out where his ankle got looked at by the Spurs trainer. All seemed to good as Leonard then re-entered the game. But just a few plays later, Leonard re-injured the same left ankle after hitting a shot over Warriors big man Zaza Pachulia.
Leonard didn’t injure his ankle all by himself though. Pachulia took an extra step while contesting the shot and Leonard landed on the Warriors big man’s foot. It was very questionable play by Pachulia, especially since Leonard got injured.
Pachulia likely didn’t intend to hurt Leonard, yet the play was immediately questioned on Twitter:
Leonard immediately left the game and the Spurs announced shortly thereafter that he was out for the remainder of Game 1. The Warriors instantly took advantage and went on a 18-0 run with Leonard out of the game to cut into San Antonio’s double-digit lead, and eventually went on to win. If Leonard has to miss significant time, that could drastically change the entire tone of the series, making it that much harder for the Spurs to get past the No. 1 seeded Warriors.
After the game, Leonard insisted he did not feel like it was a dirty play from Pachulia and that he was just contesting the shot and happened to get underneath him.