Warriors survive Conference finals opener as Spurs lose Leonard


The Golden Warriors survived a 20-point half-time deficit to topple the San Antonio Spurs 113-111 in game one of the Western Conference finals thanks to a controversial play in the third quarter.

San Antonio were cruising, much like they had at the end of the Houston Rockets series, before Warriors centre Zaza Pachulia put his foot under Kawhi Leonard's left ankle on Sunday.

NBA MVP candidate Leonard came down straight on Pachulia and hobbled to the locker room. The team quickly ruled him out for the remainder of the game at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

Golden State immediately went on an 18-0 run after Leonard left. The Spurs were understandably shell-shocked, and took a while to get back into the flow of the game.

Steph Curry led the Warriors with 40 points and seven rebounds.

Kevin Durant - recruited from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a blockbuster deal - contributed 34 points for the hosts.

Leonard had already scored 26 points with eight rebounds in just 24 minutes of action before leaving in agony midway through the third quarter. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 28 points and eight rebounds, but San Antonio was overmatched without their star.

Game two is back at Oracle Arena on Tuesday.