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Kawhi shines - but Spurs' playoff run suffers hammer blow with Tony Parker injury

Spurs level Rockets series at 1-1 but face an anxious wait on Tony Parker’s fitness.

Parker: due to have an MRI on Thursday.
Parker: due to have an MRI on Thursday.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

KAWHI LEONARD SCORED 34 points as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Houston Rockets 121-96 on Wednesday to level their NBA playoff series at one game each.

But San Antonio’s win could prove to be costly following an injury to guard Tony Parker. The French star suffered a left leg injury in the fourth quarter and had to be carried off the floor by his teammates.

“It is not good,” said coach Gregg Popovich, with Parker due to have an MRI scan on Thursday.

With eight assists and seven rebounds, Leonard made sure that the Spurs travel to Houston on level terms ahead of games three and four in the best-of-seven second round Western Conference series.

“We were focused,” Leonard said. “We lost by 30 points last game so we didn’t want to disappoint the fans.”

San Antonio led 97-83 at the time of Parker’s injury. The incident took place when Parker missed a short layup and landed underneath the Rockets’ basket. He had scored 18 points before leaving the game.

Parker clutched his left knee as he lay on the floor. He was carted off by teammates Dewayne Dedmon and Dejounte Murray and did not look up as the crowd chanted his name.

“I just hope he is OK because we need him the next game,” Leonard said.

Source: NBA Conference/YouTube

Meanwhile in Cleveland, LeBron James reached another milestone as the Cavaliers routed the Toronto Raptors 125-103.

James became the NBA’s second all-time leading scorer in the postseason with a 39-point performance, nailing a three-pointer in the second half to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,762 points). Michael Jordan is first with 5,987 playoff points.

“You find somebody to stop LeBron in these moments, I’ll give you $100,” Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan said.

The win gives Cleveland a 2-0 series lead but game three is in Toronto on Friday.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” James said. “My team-mates do a great job of putting me in position. My coaching staff do a great job of putting me in position to be successful.

“And, I put a lot of work in on my craft and I live with the results. Just blessed I’m able to make a few plays tonight to help us win another game.”

Source: NBA Conference/YouTube

– © AFP 2017

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