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Kawhi Leonard emerging as Spurs newest star

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 5, 2013 at 11:40 pm •  Published: May 5, 2013
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"My teammates just trust me more, so I'm getting the ball a lot more," Leonard said. "I'm creating shots for myself.

"Whenever you have teammates that have confidence in your game, it's always going to make your game better. That's what a team is; they are supposed to help you in your hard times and in your best times."

Leonard has also become one of the Spurs' top defenders, regularly guarding opponents' primary scorers such as the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant.

"He's a big key in what we do," Parker said. "He's improving and we need him to have a good series against (Golden State)."

The Spurs will need huge contributions from Leonard and all their perimeter players to offset the Warriors.

The Warriors are averaging 107.2 points per game in the postseason, including a league high in points this postseason with a 131-117 win over Denver in Game 2.

San Antonio held Los Angeles to 85.3 points in sweeping the first-round series, but the Lakers were without Bryant. The Spurs don't have that luxury against the Warriors.

Curry is averaging 24.5 points in the postseason and a league high 9.3 assists.

"He's like a (Kevin) Durant, a very good shooter," Parker said. "He's a great scorer. Right now he's on a roll. He's playing great basketball so it's going to be a good challenge."

While much attention will be paid defensively to Curry, the Spurs know they cannot focus exclusively on him.

Jack and Klay Thompson each shot 40 percent from 3-point range this season, with Thompson going 211 for 526.

"All three are the same," Ginobili said. "Even Jarrett Jack that is not supposed to be one of the better shooters in the league, he shot 40 for the season. All three are very skilled shooting well and that's why they are in the second round."

Golden State has not won in San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997 — when Duncan was a senior in college.

"I said it before, it's not our history," Jackson said. "We haven't gotten it done for two years, but we are a team that's more than capable of going into somebody else's building and beating them. We feel confident and comfortable about that. That's not an easy task; but we're excited about going to San Antonio and facing them. We don't pay any attention to what history says. Because that body of work is not our body of work."