Spurs overcome Leonard injury, Harden to beat Rockets in OT

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. The All-Star swingman is reportedly participating in shootaround, and while this is surely encouraging for his status, Leonard will likely still have to go through pregame warmups before a final decision is made regarding his health.

(AP Photo/Eric Gay). San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili (20) of Argentina celebrates a turnover by Houston Rockets' Eric Gordon (10) during the second half in Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in San Antonio. Game 7 would be Sunday in San Antonio.

Leonard initially said he wasn't sure if he was able to play, but obviously he got the all clear to say he could later on.

San Antonio outscored the Rockets in Game 5 when Leonard sat, but the rest of the series shows a far different tale.

While Leonard was sidelined in overtime because of a left ankle injury, Simmons went one-on-one against Harden, one of the top MVP contenders, holding him scoreless in the five-minute period. The Spurs won 61 games in this first season without Duncan. "It was tough because when they put a small on you, you have a tendency to go in".

The fourth quarter continued the back, and forth game, and regulation play proved not to be enough for this contest. The Rockets retook the lead, 92-91, with 6:50 left.

Ginobili, meanwhile, finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists - along with this critical blocked shot from behind on Harden to seal the victory on the game's final possession.




The Rockets played only seven players, with Harden seeing action for 43 minutes, posting a triple-double of 33 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

"We played well enough to win but just didn't finish the job", Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Two questionable plays closed regulation with the score 101-101.

I mean, the man left his feet before James Harden even jumped to shoot. Duncan retired last year, Ginobili might retire this year and Parker is staring at months of rehabilitation for the quadriceps muscle he ruptured in the second game of this playoff series against the Houston Rockets. Not only do the Rockets have to win the next two games, they'll have to buck history.

"I knew nobody in that draft could guard me one-on-one", Durant said.

NEED TO KNOW: As has been the case all series, the Spurs will try to limit Houston's 3-pointers. "We let an opportunity slip in game four so first it was passion and letting everyone know how hungry I am and we are to win this series".

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