Kevin Durant defends LaMarcus Aldridge after stepping under his jumper

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) handles the ball in front of San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) and Spurs forward Kyle Anderson (1) during the fourth quarter in game six of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

That move skipped off the rim like the majority of San Antonio's shots in this loss, with Popovich calling San Antonio's failure "pretty collective". Golden State later rallied to snatch a dramatic 113-111 win for a positive start to the series.

Pachulia denied he purposely tried to hurt Leonard.

But Popovich was in no mood to accept that version of events, saying: "I'm not a happy camper".

"A two-step, lead-with-your-foot closeout is not appropriate", he said. "It's risky, it's unsportsmanlike, it's just not what anybody does, to anybody else". He didn't have intent.' Who gives a damn what his intent was? You ever hear of manslaughter? You still go to jail if you're texting and you kill somebody.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was furious with what he described as Warriors' centre Zaza Pachulia's unsportsmanlike play in Monday's game one at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

He then accused the former Dallas Mavericks centre of having a history of foul play: "This particular individual has a history with that kind of action. There was a play where he took Kawhi down and locked his arm, and could have broken his arm". And while it looked like it would be inevitable that the Warriors would take the lead by the end of the 3rd or the start of the 4th, that didn't happen until very late in the game.

"LaMarcus has to score for us", Popovich said.

"I just did what I was supposed to do and challenged his shot. That's how I was taught since Day 1, honestly". I'm not a dirty player.

"It was clear to see that as a team we didn't come out like we wanted the game and they just protected home floor", said Jonathon Simmons, who took Leonard's place in the starting lineup and was the only Spur to show a pulse.

  • Julie Sanders