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NBA: Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas out for the rest of the playoffs

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas will miss the rest of the playoffs because of a hip injury.

The team made the announcement on Saturday, a day after Thomas left Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against Cleveland in the second half.

Thomas injured the hip in March and aggravated it in Game 6 of the East semifinals against Washington. Team doctor Brian McKeon says if he continues playing, he could have “more significant long-term damage to his hip.”

Thomas did not travel with the team to Cleveland for Sunday’s third game of the best-of-seven series. The Cavaliers lead the top-seeded Celtics 2-0.

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Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and referee Nick Buchert share a laugh during the first half of a game a
Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and referee Nick Buchert share a laugh during the first half of a game against the Raptors.
(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

Spurs star Kawhi Leonard to miss Game 3 against Warriors

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.

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“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 three-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.

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“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.

Kanter detained at airport

Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter is returning to the United States after being detained in a Romanian airport for what he said were his political views. Romanian Border Police spokesman Fabian Badila confirmed to the Associated Press that the player left Romania for the United States via London.

Kanter, who is from Turkey, said in a video Saturday morning on his Twitter account that the Turkish embassy canceled his passport and he’d been detained for several hours at a Romanian airport.

Kanter has been a critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Kanter supports Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who opposes Erdogan.

Kanter has been one of the NBA’s best reserves the past two years. This season, he averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds.


UPDATES:

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1:50 p.m.: This article has been updated with news of Enes Kanter’s detainment at a Romanian airport.

This article was originally published at 10:25 a.m.


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