Spurs overcome Leonard injury, Harden to beat Rockets in OT

Leonard said he will play in Game 6 on Thursday in Houston.

Throughout Game 5, Leonard also appeared to be nursing a sore right knee, as he returned to the bench on multiple occasions to have athletic trainers tend to the injured area.

Harden made only 4 of 15 attempted three-pointers and crucially coughed up nine turnovers - including 3 in overtime. But if Leonard plays and exacerbates the injury, the Spurs could risk losing him for the Western Conference Finals against Golden State, if they advance past Houston. Patty Mills and Danny Green emerged from the shadows, and then Ginobili traveled back in time. Gregg Popovich pointed to it as San Antonio's biggest problem Sunday and the Spurs know they have to get back and set up to keep the Rockets from playing the quicker pace they prefer.

Befitting his advanced age, Ginobili played the fewest minutes per game of his career this season, 18.7, a number that had dropped to 15.5 during the playoffs.

Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) is fouled by San Antonio Spurs guard Jonathon Simmons (17) during the first half of Game 5 of the second round of the Western Conference NBA playoffs at AT&T Center, Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in San Antonio. Instead, Kawhi Leonard and Johnathan Simmons shared ball handling duties when Patty Mills rested. The victor of Game 5 will win this series. "For sure, it's going to be a tough battle over there".

The Rockets are left to ponder their missed opportunity after failing to take advantage of Leonard's absence in overtime of the 110-107 loss.

He labored to the locker room after the win with his hand on the shoulder of Ginobili, who blocked Harden's potential game-tying three to preserve the win.


"We played well enough to win but just didn't finish the job", Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. Patrick Beverley made a 3-pointer with 2 minutes remaining for the first points of the period, giving Houston a 104-101 lead.

I mean, the man left his feet before James Harden even jumped to shoot.

Leonard still played 38 minutes on the night, and actually stayed in the game after the injury until the fourth quarter.

In case you don't know, a portion of the profits come to me, which is the kind of thing that Mrs. Wilco uses to rationalize me spending so much time working on PtR.

With the series tied at 2, it shifted to San Antonio for Game 5 and the hometown Spurs took care of business.

But against the Rockets this series, Simmons has averaged 12.2 points, almost doubling his season average of 6.2 points. "We'll see... But, the way he is and the way he competes, when we saw him just sitting to close the game, it was not a great signal".

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