National Basketball Association roundup

National Basketball Association roundup
By Reuters

14/05/2017 at 01:54

May 13 (The Sports Xchange) - San Antonio Spurs All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard has been cleared to play in Game One of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Leonard was a full participant in practice on Saturday and confirmed he will be in the starting lineup for the afternoon game in Oakland.

Leonard, who injured his ankle Tuesday, missed the Spurs' semifinals-clinching 114-75 win in Game Six over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night

The Spurs got a season-high 34 points from LaMarcus Aldridge and played without Leonard and point guard Tony Parker (torn left quadriceps).

Leonard sustained the injury when he came down on the foot of Houston's James Harden while turning to run up the court with 5:37 remaining in the third quarter of Game Five. He played half of the fourth quarter and did not take the court for overtime but still led the Spurs with 22 points and 15 rebounds.

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Warriors assistant Mike Brown has been filling in for coach Steve Kerr, who remains sidelined with symptoms from complications following two back surgeries two years ago.

Kerr attended Saturday's home practice leading up to Game One of the Western Conference finals. It was the first time Kerr attended a home practice since he took a leave of absence in the middle of the first round to find a remedy for his pain.

Brown is in his first season with the Warriors and was an assistant with the Spurs when Kerr played for that franchise.

"Mike who?" Spurs coach Gregg Popovich joked before praising his former assistant.

"He just has a presence about him. He has a confidence ... He has a great mind, he understands the game, he knows what it takes to win, he's strong enough to make demands fairly and follow through, and he's great with people. So what more could you ask?"

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New York Knicks president Phil Jackson reiterated his desire to trade All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony to a team in position to contend for an NBA title.

Jackson feels Anthony should waive his no-trade clause that would allow the Knicks to explore trade options for the 10-time All-Star.

"We'd like him to have success," Jackson told ESPN on Friday. "The opportunity is narrowing. We'd just like him to have success somewhere.

"We're not going to be there. Hopefully, we'll be maybe a playoff team next year. It would be tough to consider us a possible champion."

Jackson said last month that Anthony, who turns 33 on May 29, "would be better off somewhere else" to pursue a championship. (Editing by Andrew Both)

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