There will be plenty of glares from Spurs fans, who might never forgive him for owning the foot that Kawhi Leonard landed on, a pivotal moment in a game that San Antonio led by as many as 25 points.
During the third quarter, Pachulia closed out on a Leonard shot attempt and appeared to put his foot under Leonard following the shot. While the first few rounds seemed to be a pointless setup to another NBA Finals with the Warriors and the Cavs, things are heating up.
The Warriors went on to overcome a deficit once as large as 25 points as Leonard missed the remainder of the game.
With both league MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard and veteran point guard Tony Parker out with injuries, the Spurs somehow won by 39 points, further cementing Pop's place at the top of his profession, just in case anyone thinks the five National Basketball Association titles he has won as a head coach aren't enough.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry reacts after scoring against the San Antonio Spurs.
Pachulia chose not to respond to Popovich's comments on Monday, and maintained that he closed out properly against Leonard's shot.
Leonard said after the game that he didn't think Pauchulia stepped under him on goal.
Ironically, with just half a second to go and the Warriors up 113-110 the Spurs' success relied on Mills missing a shot. I thought the rebounding hurt us. I hate anybody going down like that with an injury. You've got to time that perfectly if you want to hurt somebody. At that point the Spurs had a 78-55 point lead with 7:53 left in the third quarter, but the Warriors started to pour it on afterward.
"Did he step under me on objective?" In his postgame interview, Leonard expressed that he did not feel the play was on objective and that Pachulia was simply contesting his shot. Leonard had 26 points for San Antonio before he was injured. The Warriors were losing big early because they couldn't hit the broadside of the barn, not because San Antonio split the atom.
LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 28 points, but missed a number of key shots in the 4th including the potential game-tying 3 in the dying seconds.
"Zaza's not a dirty player", Durant said.
Kerr watched the game from behind the scenes in the arena a day after returning to the practice floor for the first time in more than three weeks.
The NBA likely will look into Pachulia's foul. " 'You changed the pace". Well, we've had a pretty damn good season.
It also helps that four All-Stars are in the starting lineup with Pachulia.
The Warriors are now 9-0 in the playoffs. They won two of those three games.
And this wasn't a token appearance, either, as he addressed his players at halftime before yielding to acting head coach Mike Brown. We don't know what's going to happen in the East. The Spurs will keep tabs on Leonard's ankle. For the Warriors there are similar worries for Andre Iguodala and his sore knee.