Kevin Durant does not think the Golden State Warriors are a dirty team. And he certainly doesn’t think ZaZa Pachulia did anything dirty on the play that sent Kawhi Leonard out of Game 1 Sunday.
Leonard, who tweaked his ankle after landing on the foot of a teammate on a three-point shot earlier in the game, further injured his ankle landing on Pachulia’s foot midway through the third quarter. At the time, the San Antonio Spurs held a commanding lead over the Golden State Warriors.
Kawhi Leonard is tough as nails. Second sprained ankle in a matter of minutes – pic.twitter.com/Jq0hlZtA4l
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) May 14, 2017
Not long after this play Golden State began its comeback, which culminated in a two-point, 113-111 victory for the home team.
After the game, Twitter was aflame with fans who either love the Spurs or hate the Warriors saying Pachulia intentionally placed his foot underneath Leonard on the play that sent him packing. For what it’s worth, after watching it a handful of times, this scribe disagrees.
So also do Stephen Curry and Durant, who said Twitter was full of irrational people after being asked about it after the game.
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) May 14, 2017
Leonard being hurt could end up being the biggest difference in this series. And no doubt, the play that sent him out of Game 1 will be heavily debated, both in the comments sections of articles such as this and on talk radio around the nation.
Leonard said after the game that he’s going to try to play in Game 2, but if we’re being honest he’s probably a long shot. If he does end up missing the game, the Warriors end up winning the next game and eventually the series, you can be sure many Spurs fans will hold a grudge.