May 22, 2017

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Spurs leading scorer Kawhi Leonard will not play Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors with San Antonio on the brink of elimination.

Golden State leads the Western Conference finals 3-0 and has a chance to become the first team in league history to open the playoffs 12-0.

An MVP finalist, Leonard has not played since severely aggravating a sprained left ankle during the third quarter of Game 1 against the Warriors. He initially sprained the ankle in Game 5 of the conference semifinals against Houston.

Golden State has outscored San Antonio by 73 points since Leonard exited Game 1 with 7:52 remaining in the third quarter with the Spurs leading 78-55.

Spurs forward David Lee, who suffered a torn left patellar tendon in Game 3, will also sit out Game 4.

Golden State center Zaza Pachulia will miss his second straight game with a bruised right heel. Warriors coach Mike Brown said Pachulia's absence was not determined by the ire Spurs fans have for the 6-foot-11 forward.

Pachulia and his family have received death threats from fans who blame him for Leonard's absence after his controversial close-out that San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich called ''dangerous'' and ''unsportsmanlike.''

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