SportsLeonard 'feeling alright' after occasional limping in Game 3
Is everyone done sleeping on Kawhi Leonard yet?
LeBron James held the title for so long, at least nine years, that it’s hard to remember a time when the throne sat empty. Following a very mortal season in Los Angeles, however, it’s worth re-examining the greatest basketball player on the planet. These playoffs have provided compelling arguments for two players, in particular. One is obvious: Kevin Durant. He has been part of the conversation for five years and continues to set a new standard for 7-footers. Finally, it seems, there’s proper acknowledgement of his defense. The other has taken longer for most fans to get used to as a contender: Kawhi Leonard.
's latest virtuoso performance for the in their double-overtime Game 3 win over the didn't come without some concern. Leonard appeared to tweak his right leg after landing on a first-quarter layup Sunday and visibly favored it at times afterward.
Someone just pointed out, Kawhi limping after this play, possible hurt. Could be bad news if he’s playing hurt for Toronto— Off the Glass (@otgbasketball)
Leonard briefly left the game after the play but quickly returned. He logged a career-high 52 minutes and finished with 36 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and two steals. He downplayed any worry postgame.
In a dark time, Kawhi Leonard is the hero we need
We needed that. In the year of no spring, at a time when our leaders seem to be giving up on the future itself, in the grey days after yet another Maple Leafs let-down, we needed a hero. Kawhi Leonard is that hero. We’ll be replaying The Shot for years to come, savouring every bounce of the buzzer-beater to beat all buzzer-beaters. Thousands of words have been spilled describing it, with thousands more to follow. For us, we’ll just endorse the reaction of the great LeBron James: “!! !! !! !! !! !! !!” Now, our expert colleagues in the sports department tell us, it gets harder. Maybe too hard for these Raptors.
"I'm feeling alright," Leonard told. "This is playoff basketball. Everybody's hurting so I've just got to keep fighting.''
Raptors coach Nick Nurse said he believes Leonard is fine.
"It was a lot of minutes, but I think he's okay," Nurse. "There was only one time when he looked really, really tired for me."
Leonard missed 73 games for the San Antonio Spurs last season due to a severe right quad injury that eventually prompted his trade to Toronto. As a result, he played in only 60 regular-season games for the Raptors this campaign as the team focused on "load management" for the former Finals MVP.
The 27-year-old is averaging 39.3 minutes per game in the playoffs and came into Sunday's contest with a 33.5 usage percentage in the postseason.
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Report: Kawhi Leonard dealing with knee injury due to overcompensation with quad.
Report: Kawhi Leonard dealing with knee injury due to overcompensation with quad
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