Spurs to start Jonathan Simmons over Kawhi Leonard for Game 2

San Antonio Spurs forward Jonathon Simmons is starting in place of Kawhi Leonard in Tuesday night’s Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says he thinks he’ll list Leonard as questionable for Game 3 after ruling Leonard out for Game 2 with a sprained left ankle caused by what Popovich described as a “dangerous” and “unsportsmanlike” closeout by Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia.

Leonard had an MRI on Monday and Popovich had no timetable on when his star player would be able to return to action.

“The thing that worries me is he did it again,” Popovich said. “So one would logically think maybe it will take longer, but I’m hoping that’s not true and that we’ll have him for Game 3. But I don’t know. And I don’t think we’ll know until Friday or Saturday.”

Leonard left Game 1 on Sunday after re-injuring his tender left ankle in the third quarter when Pachulia’s foot slid under Leonard’s following a jumper by the All-Star forward.

The play happened in front of the Spurs bench and Popovich was angry at the time and even more upset a day after San Antonio’s 113-111 loss to the Warriors.

Leonard scored 26 points on 7-of-13 shooting in nearly 24 minutes to go with eight rebounds and three assists. He made all 11 of his free throws.

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