NBA Playoff Notes: Celtics' Thomas Out for Playoffs; Spurs' Leonard to Miss Game 3 - NBC 10 Philadelphia

NBA Playoff Notes: Celtics' Thomas Out for Playoffs; Spurs' Leonard to Miss Game 3

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    NBA Playoff Notes: Celtics' Thomas Out for Playoffs; Spurs' Leonard to Miss Game 3
    CSNPhilly.com
    NBA Playoff Notes: Celtics' Thomas out for playoffs; Spurs' Leonard to miss Game 3

    Updated: 7:20 p.m.

    BOSTON -- Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas will miss the rest of the playoffs because of a hip injury, further damaging -- if not outright dooming -- the team's chances in the Eastern Conference finals against Cleveland.

    The Celtics made the announcement Saturday, a day after Thomas left Game 2 at halftime. The Cavaliers already led by an NBA-record 41 points at that point, and they went on to a 130-86 victory that gave them a 2-0 lead over the top-seeded Celtics in the best-of-seven series.

    The Celtics said Thomas injured the hip in March and aggravated it in Game 6 of the East semifinals against Washington. The swelling increased during the first two games against Cleveland, team doctor Brian McKeon said, and Thomas was limping on the court just before halftime on Friday night.

    "Isaiah has worked tirelessly to manage this injury since it first occurred," McKeon said. "In order to avoid more significant long-term damage to his hip, we could no longer allow him to continue."

    Thomas did not travel with the team to Cleveland for Game 3 on Sunday. The Cavaliers could finish off the sweep with victories in Cleveland.

    "He was pretty despondent not to be able to play," Boston coach Brad Stevens said Friday night. "He's a tough guy, and for him to have to sit is really hard."

    A 5-foot-8 guard who was the last selection in the 2011 NBA draft, Thomas emerged as a star this season, averaging nearly 29 points and leading the league in fourth-quarter scoring.

    Last week, he earned All-NBA second team honors, the first Celtics player to be selected to the All-NBA first or second team since Paul Pierce in 2009.

    He was scoring 23.3 points per game in the playoffs -- including a 53-point game vs. Washington that was one shy of John Havlicek's franchise postseason record (see full story).

    Spurs: Leonard (ankle) out for Game 3 in San Antonio
    SAN ANTONIO -- Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will not play against Golden State in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals because of a sprained left ankle.

    San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said Leonard was not happy being told he will sit out with the Warriors leading the series 2-0.

    "Kawhi is out," Popovich said. "I spoke to Kawhi, we spoke to everybody, we all speak about it," Popovich said. "In the end, I guess it's my decision. He's not thrilled he's not playing, but he's not ready."

    Leonard, who was selected to the All-NBA first team on Friday, has not played since aggravating the injury in the third quarter of Game 1 and has not participated in practice other than light shooting.

    He initially injured the ankle against Houston in Game 5 of their second-round series on May 9 after inadvertently stepping on James Harden's foot while in transition.

    Leonard aggravated the injury twice in the third quarter of Game 1 against the Warriors on May 14, including a controversial close-out by Zaza Pachulia that Popovich called "dangerous" and "unsportsmanlike."

    Pachulia, who suffered a bruised right heel in Game 2, will also not play in Game 3.

    Leonard returned to Game 1 against Golden State after stepping on the foot of teammate David Lee, who was sitting on the bench. But shortly after returning, Leonard landed on Pachulia's foot while attempting a 3-pointer and had to be helped off the court.

    The Warriors were expecting Leonard to play despite the injury, with Kevin Durant stating he was "100 percent" certain the All-Star forward would start Game 3.

    The news also took the Spurs by surprise.

    "No Kawhi?" Danny Green asked incredulously during Saturday morning's shootaround when asked about playing without Leonard.

    "Still hope. I'm still going to hope until tipoff that he's going to show up with a cape."

    The Warriors have outscored the Spurs by 61 points since Leonard exited Game 1 with 7:52 remaining in the third quarter. San Antonio was leading 78-55 when Leonard exited, but Golden State went on a 16-0 run and has not looked back since the series-altering injury.