San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard does not think Golden State Warriors big man Zaza Pachulia intentionally tried to injure him during game one of the Western Conference finals.
Pachulia put his foot under Leonard’s left ankle following a jump shot with 7:54 remaining in the third quarter of Golden State’s 113-11 win on Sunday.
Leonard – who missed game six of the Conference semi-finals against the Houston Rockets due to an ankle problem – came down straight on Pachulia’s foot, turning his left ankle for the second time in the game.
The Spurs star hobbled to the locker room and was unable to return as the Warriors overcame a 25-point deficit for victory at Oracle Arena.
“Did he step under me on purpose? No,” Leonard told reporters after the game.
“He was contesting the shot. The shot clock was coming down. I don’t know. I have to see the play.”
With Leonard in the locker room, Golden State immediately went on an 18-0 run.
Leonard – who finished with 26 points – was seen walking gingerly after the game. He called the injury “very painful” but did not rule out game two.