The Golden State Warriors completed one of the most spirited comebacks in recent memory, as they rallied from a 25-point deficit to take game one of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, 113-111 on Sunday.
However, the win was marred by controversy, after the Dubs’ center Zaza Pachulia appeared to slide under the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard early in the third quarter, as he was in the process of landing after taking a jump shot.
The two-time NBA All-Star stepped on Pachulia’s foot and re-aggravated his left ankle sprain injury, causing him to leave the game.
His absence certainly turned the tides in favor of the home team, as they seized momentum and went on an 18-0 run.
As expected, netizens were quick to lambast the Georgian enforcer and accused him of deliberately injuring the Spurs’ best player.
But Leonard was quick to dismiss the claims, and said it was unintentional.
“Did he step under it? Like on purpose?” the 25-year-old forward, who finished with 26 points and eight rebounds, asked reporters post-game.
“No. He was contesting the shot. The shot clock was coming down. I’ll have to see the play,” he said, as relayed by Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver.
Pachulia, for his part, denied the allegations and addressed the criticism as “really stupid.”
“I just did what I’m supposed to do: challenge the shot,” he told reporters after the game. “I turned around and there was a call. I didn’t notice he was down until I turned back actually. I didn’t see what happened there,” he explained.
Leonard’s status for Game 2 remains uncertain, as he is scheduled to undergo an MRI.
by Sports Inquirer
If you use the quotes from this content, you legally agree to give www.brila.net the News credit as the source and a backlink to our story. Copyright 2020 Brila Media.