National Basketball Association roundup
May 15 (The Sports Xchange) - San Antonio star forward Kawhi Leonard will miss Tuesday night's Game Two of the Western Conference finals at the Golden State Warriors, leaving Spurs coach Gregg Popovich irate over what he felt was an avoidable injury.
Popovich lashed out at Warriors center Zaza Pachulia for his defense on Leonard, telling reporters Monday that the play was "dangerous" and "unsportsmanlike" and citing a past pattern of such play by Pachulia.
Leonard aggravated his left ankle injury on Sunday in Game One of the best-of-seven series when he landed on Pachulia's foot after taking a jump shot early in the third quarter.
San Antonio held a 23-point lead at the time of the injury but couldn't hold of a furious comeback without its best player and dropped a 113-111 decision.
- - -
Breaking up The Big Three might hand the Boston Celtics the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Depending on how the ping-pong balls bounce Tuesday night during the NBA draft lottery, general manager Danny Ainge and the Celtics could be celebrating. As payment from the Brooklyn Nets for the 2013 draft-day trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett out of Boston, the Celtics stand a 25 percent chance of winning the 2017 draft lottery.
Boston retained the right to swap picks in 2018 with the Nets in addition to the Celtics receiving first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Brooklyn had the NBA's worst record (20-62) in 2016-17. The worst possible outcome for the Celtics in cashing in the draft pick Tuesday will be the fourth overall selection.
- - -
The Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to a multiyear sponsorship deal to wear Goodyear's iconic Wingfoot logo on their jerseys beginning with the 2017-18 season.
The Cavs and the tire company, founded and headquartered in Akron, Ohio, announced the partnership at Quicken Loans Arena, home of the defending NBA champions.
"Every Akron kid grew up seeing the Wingfoot in the sky on the blimp and feeling pride in our community," Cavaliers star LeBron James said in a statement. "There is something special for me personally about having that logo on the Cavs uniform. Goodyear is also very supportive of the LeBron James Family Foundation. I can't imagine a better situation. (Editing by Gene Cherry)