Popovich: Leonard and Green to play vs. Mavericks

NBA.com Global on Dec 13, 2017 08:08 AM
Popovich: Leonard and Green to play vs. Mavericks
FILE - HOUSTON, TX - MAY 7: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs stands for a moment of silence for the National Anthem before the game against the Houston Rockets during Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 Playoffs on May 7, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA.com staff report

The San Antonio Spurs will have all their household names back in the lineup tonight.

Coach Gregg Popovich announced after today's shootaround that star forward Kawhi Leonard will play today vs. the Dallas Mavericks. Additionally, guard Danny Green will be back in the lineup as well, leaving forward Kyle Anderson as the lone Spurs player nursing an injury.

Leonard, who will be on a minutes restriction tonight, has missed all 27 of the Spurs' games this season while recovering from right quadriceps tendinopathy, a condition that causes pain and weakness in the knee.

Leonard last played in Game 1 of last season's Western Conference finals. He hurt his left ankle in the opener of that series against Golden State, turning it while trying to land after a jump shot and coming down on the foot of Warriors center Zaza Pachulia.

Even without Leonard, who averaged a career-best 25.5 points last season and is a two-time defensive player of the year, the Spurs are 19-8 this season and third in the Western Conference.

As a side note, a viral video of Leonard hit the internet last night via Instagram. In it, Leonard appears to be practicing karate in a kid's class. The video originally surfaced as part of Foot Locker's Instagram story and was later reposted by Instgrame user @kawhinot, an unofficial Kawhi fanpage on Instagram.

According to Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News, Leonard's video was shot last week as part of a forthcoming Jordan Brand/Gatorade commercial.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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