SAN ANTONIO — Despite a left ankle injury that forced him to sit out a portion of the fourth quarter and all of overtime in the Spurs’ 110-107 win Tuesday night, forward Kawhi Leonard vowed to play in Game 6 at Houston on Thursday.
“Yeah, I'm going to be able to play,” Leonard said. “It was frustrating because I wanted to play. But I was happy seeing my teammates out there putting in a good effort and getting the win.”
Leonard was hurt when he landed on the foot of Houston guard James Harden with 5:37 left in the third quarter. He went to the bench briefly during a timeout, re-tied his shoe and returned to the game.
The 25-year-old Leonard then came out of the game with 4:57 left in regulation time, re-entered with 2:59 to play, then left for good with 34.5 seconds to play. He did not play at all in the overtime period.
“He's had issues, and you could tell just before he took a couple of shots he jumped off one foot,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “He didn't want to come out, obviously. We let him play a little while just to see what he was going to be like, but it was obvious that he couldn't go. So I think everybody else picked it up very well.”