Spurs' star Kawhi Leonard won't be ready to start the season
By The Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) Kawhi Leonard still isn't ready to play.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said the All-Star forward needs more time to get his injured thigh muscle right, meaning he won't be out there when the Spurs open their regular season on Wednesday against Minnesota.
"He's still rehabbing and when he's ready, he'll be ready," Popovich told reporters in Houston before San Antonio's preseason finale.
Leonard didn't play at all in camp or preseason, after a year where he averaged 25.5 points - raising his scoring average for the fifth consecutive season - and finished behind only Russell Westbrook and James Harden in the MVP race.
The Spurs aren't alone when it comes to injury woes heading into the season.
Many are minor, like Cleveland's LeBron James nursing a sprained ankle and Golden State's Andre Iguodala dealing with a balky back - issues that might keep them out of their respective opening nights. Kevin Durant (virus) and Draymond Green (back) also missed Golden State's preseason finale on Friday, though neither situation is thought to be serious. Nor is the Rockets' Chris Paul sitting out Friday with a sore knee, after missing a game earlier this week with a sore shoulder.
Some other injuries from training camp and preseason action are far more significant, like the ones endured by Charlotte's Nic Batum (elbow ligament tear), Miami's Rodney McGruder (stress fracture in left leg), Indiana's Glenn Robinson III (high ankle sprain followed by surgery to repair ligaments Friday), Washington's Markieff Morris (sports hernia), New Orleans' Rajon Rondo (sports hernia) and Utah's Dante Exum (shoulder).
They are looking at weeks - or in many cases, months - before they'll play again.
So the preseason is over. Some teams will be feeling the effects of it for a while longer.
A look at Friday's preseason finales:
HORNETS 111, MAVERICKS 96
O'Bryant was 5 for 5 from the field and 3 for 3 from the foul line in the fourth, helping the Hornets (2-3) pull away with a 29-15 spurt.
Harrison Barnes scored 24 for visiting Dallas (4-2).
CAVALIERS 113, MAGIC 106
CAVALIERS: Kyle Korver took five 2-point attempts, something he did in only six games all last season. ... Wade and Derrick Rose didn't play in the second half. ... JR Smith came off the bench to further acclimate to his new role, now that Wade is the starting shooting guard.
MAGIC: Orlando allowed 36 points in the third quarter. ... Jonathon Simmons started again in place of the injured Terrence Ross (hamstring). ... Simmons had 12 points and Elfrid Payton had 11 on 4-for-4 shooting.
WIZARDS 110, KNICKS 103
Bradley Beal scored 24 points in his best game of the preseason, helping Washington (4-1) send the Knicks to a winless exhibition slate.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had 23 points as the host Knicks finished 0-5.
KNICKS: Kristaps Porzingis (sore right hip) and Frank Ntilikina (bruised right knee) were held out again. Ntilikina, the Knicks' first-round pick, appeared in just one preseason game. He said he expects to fully practice Saturday. ... Doug McDermott scored 21 points off the bench. He had 12 in his first five minutes.
RAPTORS 125, BULLS 104
Toronto outscored Chicago 38-17 in the fourth quarter to turn what was a tie game into a blowout.
RAPTORS: Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 10 rebounds. ... The Raptors were 19 of 48 from 3-point range.
SPURS 106, ROCKETS 97
LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio (3-2).
SPURS: Danny Green had 11 points and seven assists. ... The Spurs outscored Houston 60-38 in the paint.
GRIZZLIES 142, PELICANS 101
New Orleans' Tony Allen - who will have his jersey retired by the Grizzlies when his career ends - got a huge ovation from fans in Memphis in his first trip back as an opponent. He didn't play, and the Pelicans got routed.
GRIZZLIES: Memphis got to the 100-point mark with 4:17 left in the third quarter. ... Mike Conley scored 19.
BUCKS 107, PISTONS 103
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out six assists as Milwaukee (1-3) avoided a winless preseason.
Avery Bradley and Andre Drummond were brilliant for visiting Detroit (2-3). Bradley scored 26 points on 11-for-17 shooting, and Drummond finished with 18 points, 22 rebounds and seven assists.
BUCKS: Khris Middleton and Mirza Teletovic each scored 14. ... Milwaukee used 14 players - 13 of them scored (rookie of the year Malcolm Brogdon was the exception) and all 14 got at least one rebound.
76ERS 119, HEAT 95
76ERS: Philadelphia "hosted" the game in Kansas City, Missouri. ... The 76ers shot 14 for 39 from beyond the arc, while holding Miami to a 4 for 30 performance from long range.
WARRIORS 117, KINGS 106
Stephen Curry had 18 points in 19 minutes as Golden State made a successful return home after its two-game China trip.
David Stockton had 23 points and eight assists for the Kings (1-5).
KINGS: Veteran summer acquisitions Zach Randolph, Vince Carter and George Hill all were sidelined. ... Rookie Frank Mason started and had 10 points. ... Rookies De'Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic missed the game with injuries.
WARRIORS: Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala didn't play. ... Patrick McCaw scored 17 points and Nick Young made five 3-pointers for 15. ... Rookie Jordan Bell started and finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
LAKERS 111, CLIPPERS 104
Brook Lopez scored 16 points for the Lakers (2-4), and the Los Angeles teams tuned up against each other before they meet in their season openers on Thursday.
Tyrone Wallace had 23 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Clippers (2-3).
LAKERS: Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle each scored 15 points. ... Rookie Kyle Kuzma struggled to a 1-for-8 night, scoring eight points. ... Lonzo Ball sat again after hurting his ankle earlier in the preseason.
Updated October 14, 2017