<
>

Raptors sit ailing Kawhi Leonard, then lose Jonas Valanciunas to dislocated thumb

play
Valanciunas screams in pain after contact from Draymond (0:47)

Draymond Green gets a part of Jonas Valanciunas' hand as he goes for the steal and Valanciunas seems to jam his fingers and screams in pain. (0:47)

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Toronto Raptors didn't have star Kawhi Leonard for Wednesday night's 113-93 win against the Golden State Warriors.

Veteran center Jonas Valanciunas wasn't around for much of the game, either.

Leonard missed his second straight game with a bruised hip, and Valanciunas suffered a dislocated left thumb in the second quarter and was ruled out at halftime.

The backup center was posting up Draymond Green when, as Valanciunas turned to make a move, Green swiped down at the ball and hit him in the hand. Valanciunas immediately fell to the ground in agony, then got up holding his hand while in visible pain. A trainer spent time working on him along the bench before eventually escorting the center back to the locker room.

Leonard, who also sat out Tuesday's rout of the Clippers in Los Angeles, initially hurt his hip during Sunday's home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Raptors have taken a conservative approach when it comes to Leonard's health after he missed all but nine games last season due to tendinopathy in his left quadriceps.

Sporting the best record in the NBA through the first third of the season, Toronto (23-7) is doing everything it can to ensure Leonard is healthy and ready to play in what the Raptors hope will be a deep playoff run next spring.

So far, the plan has worked from a performance standpoint. Leonard has averaged 26.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game -- both career highs -- along with 3.0 assists and 1.9 steals, all while shooting 48.8 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from 3-point range.

Both the Raptors and rival executives have noticed Leonard regaining his explosiveness as the season has progressed. Leonard already has five dunks in December after totaling 16 through the opening six weeks of the regular season.

Leonard's absence Wednesday meant that both showdowns between these potential combatants in this season's NBA Finals have had key players on each side unable to partake. Two weeks ago in Toronto -- a game the Raptors won in overtime -- Green and teammate Stephen Curry sat due to injuries.