Spurs-Warriors Game 3 updates
Game 3 Spurs-Warriors tips off at 8 p.m.
SAN ANTONIO – End of 3rd quarter update: Spurs trail Warriors 100-88. Manu Ginobili leads San Antonio with 21 points, Aldridge has 15 points, but Warriors relentless. Durant has 33.
End of 2nd quarter update: Spurs trail Warriors 64-55 at end of 1st half. Jonathon Simmons has 10 points and Manu Ginobili has 13 points. San Antonio was outscored 35-22 in second quarter.
End of 1st quarter update: Spurs lead Warriors 33-29. Manu and Mills have 7 points each and San Antonio is shooting 62 percent, but the Spurs have now lost David Lee for the game.
UPDATE: Kyle Anderson to start for Pau Gasol in Game 3 of the West finals versus Warriors.
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Coach Popovich says Kawhi Leonard will not play tonight against the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.
Leonard continues to recover from an ankle injury he suffered in Game 1 of the series.
Popovich said Leonard was not thrilled about the decision to sit out, but is not ready to play.
Jonathon Simmons will once again start in Leonard's place.
Popovich was asked if Leonard would miss Monday's Game 4 and said all he was worried about was Game 3.
ORIGINAL PREVIEW STORY:
The San Antonio Spurs will look to get back into the Western Conference Finals when they host the Golden State Warriors Saturday night at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs are down 0-2 in the best-of-seven series and star forward Kawhi Leonard was ruled out of Game 3 Saturday morning with an ankle injury.
The Spurs have been outscored by 61 points since Leonard was forced to leave Game 1.
With Leonard ailing, the Spurs will need LaMarcus Aldridge to bounce back from a rough Game 2.
Aldridge had just eight points on 4-for-11 shooting in Game 2 as he was swarmed all night by a Warriors defense that was free to double- and sometimes triple-team him since it didn't have to worry about Leonard.
Aldridge was 0 for 2 with two turnovers in the first quarter and knows he has to be more aggressive.
"The ball has to move, but I have to take a shot if it's there," Aldridge said Thursday. "I was trying to make the extra pass, but I have to score, too. If I'm open, I have to shoot."
"LaMarcus has to score for us," coach Gregg Popovich said after Game 2. "He can't be timid. He turned down shots in the first quarter. He can't do it. You've got to score."
Aldridge was everything they needed in the clincher over Houston in the conference semifinals. While Leonard sat out with the ankle injury, Aldridge scored 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help the Spurs to a stunning 39-point victory.
Aldridge brought it in Game 1 against the Warriors as well, scoring 28 points in a two-point defeat, but Golden State blitzed Aldridge from all angles in Game 2.
Aldridge was not the only Spurs player to struggle in the absence of Leonard. The rest of the starters scored only 17 points combined in Game 2.
"They've been throwing different things at us, throwing different things at LaMarcus," guard Danny Green said. "Obviously, thinking a little bit. It's a lot easier to do that when we don't have everybody that we need to make plays so they can trap a little more on those guys."
"But offensively, I think it's a combination of them playing good defense and also us not finding our chemistry, not finding our rhythm, and not knowing where to be with two of our main playmakers not there," Green said.
The key, Aldridge said, was finding a balance between being assertive and looking to score while also making sure that he keeps his teammates involved and hits them with passes when they're open on the perimeter.
"It was definitely something different than I've seen here, but you've got to play through it," Aldridge said of the increased attention from the Warriors. "I either take my shot or try to find the open guy. I think the last game it definitely worked in their advantage with me getting passive, but next game I won't do that."
For San Antonio, there is no time to lose. Popovich made that abundantly clear in his pointed remarks after Game 2 when he lamented the team's lack of intensity and belief.
"We felt sorry for ourselves, we need to get slapped and come back and play Game 3 and see who we are. That's what I'm anxious for," Popovich said.
AP freelance writer Raul Dominguez in San Antonio contributed to this report.
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