HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – If the San Antonio Spurs hope to eliminate the Houston Rockets in game six of the Western Conference Semifinals they will have to do it without their superstar forward Kawhi Leonard.
The Spurs did not have Leonard listed on the active roster and will be out resting his injured ankle. Jonathan Simmons will start in Leonard’s place.
Leonard is averaging 27.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in 11 postseason games for the Spurs.
Leonard injured his ankle by stepping on James Harden’s foot near the end of the third quarter. The MVP candidate 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.
Spurs head coach Greg Popovich said Leonard would be a gametime decision at shootaround Thursday morning. Leonard did take part in the team’s shootaround and told reporters after San Antonio’s game five win that he expected to play.
The Spurs, who are already without Tony Parker, are 4-0 this season without Parker or Leonard in the line-up according to ESPN’s Stats info.
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