The Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs were the two best teams of the NBA's regular season and now lock horns in the Western Conference Finals for a spot in the NBA Finals and a shot at the title.
THE PACE GAME: San Antonio likes to play big and deliberate, while the Warriors are making no secret of their desire to play fast - and small - in hopes of taking the Spurs out of their comfort zone.
Game 2 is Tuesday at 8 p.m.at Golden State.
On a semi-transition layup from Kevin Durant with four minutes to go, the Warriors took their first lead since the opening quarter, though the lead would seesaw back and forth for the final minutes.
In the second incident at Oracle Arena in Oakland, he was fouled by Warriors centre Zaza Pachulia while attempting a jumper and landed awkwardly on the ankle.
Leonard had already scored 26 points with eight rebounds in just 24 minutes of action before leaving in agony midway through the third quarter. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year made his two free throws and then exited to the locker room limping severely and not able to return.
He sat out Game 6 of the last round against Houston, a 39-point, series-clinching win on Thursday, after injuring the ankle in a Game 5 overtime victory. The Warriors were tops in the league in assist-turnover ratio, while San Antonio tied for fifth in that category.
Yet for much of the afternoon, the Spurs outplayed the mighty Warriors on both ends of the floor. Assuming Leonard is healthy, I like the points here.
Leonard's injury saw the Spurs struggle, even as LaMarcus Aldridge and Manu Ginobili tried to keep San Antonio afloat.
"We'll hammer it out when we get there but we've got 4 more wins to go", Curry said.
Canberra's Mills was elevated from his usual bench role to starting point guard after veteran starter Tony Parker's season ended with a leg injury in game two against the Rockets.
Saturday, Gregg Popovich said Leonard "was going to play" when asked about his status for Game 1. He's taking a lot fewer hard 2-point shots with Golden State. It's got nothing to do with the Democrats losing the election, it has to do with the way one individual conducts himself, and that's embarrassing. And that's embarrassing, it's unsafe to our institutions and what we all stand for, what we expect the country to be.
"For this individual, he's in a game show". Things are drastically different this time around for each organization with both being powerhouses in the National Basketball Association as perennial title contenders. "That's disingenuous, cynical and fake".