San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard aggravated his sprained left ankle when he landed on Zaza Pachulia's foot during his team's 113-111 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Sunday's Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
After the game, Leonard took the high road and said he didn't think the play was dirty, per Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News.
The team announced the injury in the third quarter, and CBS Sports put the cost of the setback into perspective:
Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News shared more from Leonard:
Pachulia was asked whether he undercut Leonard and responded, per Ben Golliver: "That's really stupid. ... I hate anybody going down like that. ... I'm an athlete too."
Leonard, who finished with 26 points and eight rebounds in just 24 minutes, was enforcing his will as San Antonio extended its commanding early lead before the injury.
The Spurs won Game 6 of their second-round series against the Houston Rockets without Leonard, but the two-time defending Western Conference champion Warriors were a different story.
Stephen Curry poured in 40 points, while Kevin Durant added 34 and said, "You can't listen to people on Twitter. They're irrational" when asked about those suggesting Pachulia slid his foot under Leonard intentionally, per Michael Lee of The Vertical.
NBA TV shared more of Durant's comments:
The pressing question now for the Spurs is whether their star can return and be 100 percent in the near future. He will have a quick turnaround with Game 2 coming Tuesday.