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San Antonio Spurs Lag After Losing Leonard in Game 1

The Warriors Slide By The Spurs

The Western Conference Finals look to be the exciting competition that the world has been waiting for.

Sunday the Golden State Warriors came back to defeat the San Antonino Spurs 113-111. In this heated battle between the two top teams in the NBA, record wise, the game had every suspenseful moment anyone could think of.

The game started out with the Spurs completely dominating the Warriors. San Antonio took a commanding lead 62-42.

The Spurs showed their size in the first half and all game. According to ESPN San Antonio outscored Golden State 56-42 in the paint. In fact, with just under eight minutes left in the first half the Warriors only had 19 points.

The San Antonio stars shined the brightest in the first half. Kawhi Leonard, who finished the game with 26 points and eight rebounds, scored 18 in the first half.

Then his partner LaMarcus Aldridge notched 17 points in the first half. He finished with 28 points, eight boards and three steals.

But the third quarter change the game entirely. Leonard went down with a left ankle injury. He first twisted it running back on defense from his bench. Then after a shooting foul from Warriors’ Zaza Pachulia that many are calling dirty, Leonard was taken out for good.

After the game, Manu Ginobili expressed his thought on the play in Associated Press.

“It’s a tough break. He’s coming from an injury on that ankle and he tweaked it twice in the last minute he played,” Ginobili said. “So we couldn’t react to his absence.”

The Warriors were looking defeated being down 78-55. But soon as Leonard went down they jumped to a blazing 18-0 run. It seemed that message from coach Steve Kerr at halftime held weight.

The run was propelled by Stephen Curry, who exploded for 19 of his 40 points in the quarter. He was so hot that the trainer examined his hand when he was on the bench. He also finished with seven boards.

But Curry was not done there. He went 7-16 from the three and shot over 50% from the field. His shooting performance put him eight in three pointers made in the playoffs.

In addition, Kevin Durant made an impact after Leonard’s absence as well. He scored 20 points of his 34 after.

“It’s the playoffs. You’ve got to expect everything,” Curry said. “I wouldn’t call it smooth sailing at all. We’ve actually had to execute and get to this point. They came out and challenged us heavy, put a nice little run together. It took us a minute to figure it out to get up to that game speed after this little break. It’s definitely a nice way to win Game 1. We’ve got to capitalize off that and start Game 2 a lot better.”

Now, Game two will take place Tuesday back in Oracle Arena. The Warriors will look to go up 2-0 in the series. But the Spurs will just pray they come back with a healthy Leonard.

Watch: Curry and Durant Go Off On The San Antonio Spurs

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