Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Harden vows to make Rockets better after elimination

The Spurs led by as many as 28 points in the third quarter as LaMarcus Aldridge played like the superstar he was expected to be when he left Portland in 2015 to join the Spurs. That's not to say they are a better team without Leonard.

If he can get going it will not only boost the Spurs' chances of getting the win over Houston but give him some more confidence which will be vital for the Western Conference finals if they are able to make it that far.

Earlier in the day, Popovich termed Leonard as a game-time decision.

The San Antonio Spurs vs Houston Rockets Game 6 (live stream online & score below) of the Western Conference semifinals gets underway.

Looks like Kawhi Leonard is human after all, as he'll be missing tonight's game.

Leonard's injury is another blow to a team already without Tony Parker, after the veteran suffered a season-ending quadriceps injury in Game 2. He had 10 points on just 2 of 11 eight shooting.

"We've just been kind of watching the series up until today", Brown said.

After Game 5, Leonard initially was confident he'd suit up for Game 6 despite the injury.

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Game 7, though, was a near-complete return to form for Crosby-he's had many clutch moments but maybe none bigger than this one. In his nine trips to the postseason, Ovechkin has never made it past the second-round. "He was huge for us all series long".

"I really didn't have a rhythm at the beginning of the game", Harden said.

This pretty much sums up the night in Houston.

The explosive Rockets scored only 22 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. But he seemed to run out of gas in an overtime where he was held scoreless, and had a 3-pointer which could have tied the game blocked by 39-year-old Manu Ginobili just before the buzzer. Jonathan Simmons will start in Leonard's place. "That's huge when situations like that (a key player going out) happen, it's trust and everyone stepped up". Patty Mills had 14 points and seven assists, while Danny Green reached 10.

But against the Rockets this series, Simmons has averaged 12.2 points, almost doubling his season average of 6.2 points.

Leonard is a league MVP candidate after averaging 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists during the regular season.

"It's frustrating", Harden said of the loss. He does a ton of things for us. The Houston Rockets are coming off a 110-107 overtime defeat against the Spurs at San Antonio in Game 5.

Not only were the Rockets a sieve defensively, allowing the Spurs to shoot 53.1 percent, but they were helpless on the boards and inept on offense.

D'Antoni wasn't sure after the game if he'd tweak the rotation in the next game. "Houston's another story and we'll meet back here (San Antonio) and try again".

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