SAN ANTONIO (CBS HOUSTON) – The San Antonio Spurs are a win away from the Western Conference finals after their 110-107 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night at AT&T Center.
They had to come up with the victory down the stretch and into the over time without Kawhi Leonard who injured his ankle by stepping on James Harden’s foot near the end of the third quarter. Leonard attempted to play on it for the remainder of the third and for a four minute stretch in the fourth, but Greg Popovich noticed on a shot attempt Leonard was taking off on one foot and elected to pull him from the game, despite Leonard’s objections.
“He didn’t want to come out obviously,” Greg Popovich said on his decision to remove him from the game in the fourth quarter and over time. “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.”
The Spurs picked up the slack in his absence to pick up the victory which puts the Rockets on the brink of elimination.
“It’s a little sore,” Leonard said of his ankle injury. “My teammates did a good job of closing out that game with me not being able to go that last stretch.”
Despite being held out in crucial minutes of game five put no doubt in the minds of Spurs fans on his availability for Game 6 in Houston on Thursday.
“Yeah. I’m going to be able to play.”
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio