Leonard received treatment on his ankle throughout the day Friday and spent the game in the Spurs' locker room and not on the bench.
Game 3: Saturday at San Antonio, 6 p.m.
However, the Golden State Warriors went from being a 73-9 team and being one game away from winning a second NBA Finals to being even better, if that was even possible to many. At the Warriors store in Oracle fans were picking up free team flags and predicting a relatively easy Golden State series win. "I know they played well, and we didn't". "We've got to prepare as fast as we can". "We'll figure it out". San Antonio has had a bit of struggle in each of the first two rounds, taking the Grizzlies and Rockets to six games each before disposing them. Harden, who finished second in scoring during the season at 29.1 points per game, did not attempt a shot until the 6:19 mark of the second quarter.
"It was a long series, an exhausting series and now we play at noon, but we're here", Manu Ginobili said. But it still seemed to be bothering him quite a bit after the game when he headed to the bus still walking with a noticeable limp. The last time these teams met in the playoffs was in 2013, clearly before the dominating Warriors we know of today.
Still, the Warriors are a different beast, and the Spurs need their most risky weapon. Every team is different.
Houston, which relied on its 3-point shooting to get this far, couldn't make shots from long-range going 13 of 40. Even in the loss, the Spurs only gave up a 110 points, but their offense isn't capable of consistently scoring at that output in a seven-game series. Leonard missed the overtime period in game 5 against Houston after tweaking his left ankle, and sat out game 6 while the Spurs rolled over the Rockets by a final of 114-75. Harden, who fouled out with 3:15 left in the game, was held to just 10 points on 2-11 shooting in 37 minutes, and added 7 assists and 6 turnovers.
"It would be a lot more competitive series than what we should see out West", Sherman said. "He was an absolute beast (Thursday), and that's who he is". They will need more of that type of play from Aldridge if they are to have a chance to reach the finals.
"I really didn't have a rhythm at the beginning of the game", Harden said. Now, as James, Durant and their teammates wait on the next opponent for the respective conference finals, the world is watching as they move their unblemished, 8-0 teams ever closer to an anticipated Cavs-Warriors rematch that might finally come to fruition at last in a matter of weeks. But I haven't thought about it. San Antonio won the best-of-seven series 4-2.