Kawhi Leonard will play in Game 1 vs

  • Kawhi Leonard will play in Game 1 vs

Kawhi Leonard will play in Game 1 vs

Instead, San Antonio will tip off the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors, who swept their second-round series against the Utah Jazz, on Sunday in Oakland.

Looking at the betting trends, the Spurs are 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 games against a team above.600, 2-6 ATS in their last eight games playing on two days' rest and 6-2 ATS in their last eight Conference Finals games.

Kawhi Leonard wanted to play on his sore left ankle on Thursday night. After exercising franchise playoff demons against the Rockets in dramatic fashion, San Antonio recognizes the looming test. San Antonio led by as many as 42 points in the second half, administering a thorough beating before a rapidly thinning crowd.

Leonard, who sprained his left ankle in San Antonio's overtime win in Game 5 on Tuesday night, participated in the workout and could be seen shooting free throws with his teammates when the media was allowed to watch the end of the session. "With that being said, they're competitors, I'm a competitor, guys on my team here, the Spurs, are competitors". "Kawhi's out", the coach said.

The Rockets used a 7-2 spurt after that with three-pointers from Ariza and Eric Gordon to cut the lead to 71-50 with about seven minutes remaining in the third.

Harden accepted some of the blame for the loss.

"Mikey has done a great job", Popovich said when he made a decision to get serious.

"Everything falls on my shoulders", he said. I felt like we've been to hell and back in just three hours. Twitter had a field day with Harden's bad performance.

Meanwhile, James Harden, who had five points on 1-of-2 shooting with five turnovers at halftime, finished with only 10 points and shot the ball 11 times before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.

Asked if Harden was injured, D'Antoni said, "He's been battling that cold, but nothing I know of. But I think we come out on edge from the jump, play our game, and we'll be just fine".

FILE - In this December 25, 2016, file photo, Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry is fouled by Cleveland Cavaliers' Channing Frye as Kyrie Irving, left rear, defends during an NBA basketball game in Cleveland.

The San Antonio Spurs lost Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series to the Rockets by 27 points.

The other National Basketball Association semis features the Cleveland Cavaliers against either the Boston Celtics or the Washington Wizards. If San Antonio wants to hang with Golden State, it'll need someone to emerge as a pleasant surprise in this series.