The San Antonio Spurs had the Golden State Warriors on the ropes in their own building Sunday, but a controversial injury to Kawhi Leonard sparked a massive Golden State run that -- according to Skip Bayless -- saved the Warriors' season.
Leonard re-injured his ankle after landing on the foot of Zaza Pachulia, who had stepped under Leonard as he was shooting. After the game, Leonard said he didn't believe Pachulia stepped under him on purpose, but Bayless argued on Monday's episode of "Undisputed" that the play made Pachulia the new MVP of the playoffs.
Kevin Durant: "We're not that type of team"
“Zaza’s not a dirty player. I mean, you’ve got to time that perfectly if you want to hurt somebody. We’re not that type of team.
"Kawhi’s an unbelievable player, we’ve got nothing but respect for him. We wish him … we wish that he gets healthy, but he just tried to contest the shot, man. Guys are playing hard. It was an unfortunate situation. I wish it didn’t happen, but I don’t think it was intentional. You can’t listen to people on Twitter, they’re irrational.”
I have never been more sickened by a loss
“I lost that game, I lost this series, I lost this season because of number one, a very dirty play, and number two, a very lucky shot by Steph Curry with nine seconds left in the game.
"In all my years of rooting for my Spurs, and my Dallas Cowboys, I have never ever been more sickened by a loss than I was by that thing that I witnessed yesterday.”
Zaza Pachulia saved the Warriors' season
“A guy named Zaza went hockey goon. He saved the Warriors’ season and he completely changed the playoffs for everybody involved, including your guy LeBron James, with an incredibly dirty play. The more I watched it, the dirtier it got.
"We’ve seen this play happen before in professional basketball. And as Jeff Van Gundy said on the telecast, at least they should call a flagrant foul on the play, but it’s sort of accepted as an unwritten rule that you can get away with this play.
"In the end, Zaza Pachulia -- I can’t believe I’m even saying his name live on national television -- intentionally stuck his Size 17 foot under the gimpy ankle of Kawhi Leonard, the best two-way player in basketball. That got proven yesterday, once again.”
Kawhi's injury changed everything
“And, of course, his ankle turned completely over, and it turned that game around.
"7:53 was left in the third quarter of that game, my Spurs were up merely 78-55 at that moment. They were doing a defensive number on the Golden State Warriors in their own building in Oakland, just the way they did in Game 1 of last regular season, when they won by 29. They were on the way to doing the same thing yesterday.
"But, of course, the Warriors immediately went on an 18-0 run and the Spurs were outscored the rest of the way, 56-30.”
Kelley L CoxKelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Zaza is the new MVP of the playoffs
“It just makes me sick that I Zaza Pachulia is now the MVP of the playoffs. He decided everything, and he saved the Warriors season … and he saved LeBron James from the San Antonio Spurs.
"They were going to win this series. They were going to win it, and they have LeBron’s number. I was so happy at halftime, because I thought ‘we got this, and we’re coming for you LeBron.’
And now we’re not coming for you because Kawhi’s going nowhere. I doubt he’ll be able to play Game 2. I’m pretty sure this series is going nowhere.”
I lost respect for Golden State Sunday
“And you know what? Despite what Kevin Durant said, I lost respect for Golden State yesterday.
"Really? You have to resort to that dirty of a play to survive my Spurs and save your season?