Tiago Splitter injury: Spurs center exits game after turning ankle

USA TODAY Sports

With the Spurs rolling against the Lakers, their starting center went down with an apparent ankle injury.

San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter sustained an apparent left ankle injury in the final seconds of the third quarter of the Spurs' Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. (Update: Splitter will not return.)

Splitter got tangled up with Darius Morris while moving toward the basket on the Spurs' final offensive possession of the third quarter, and planted his left leg awkwardly, tweaking the ankle and going down.

Splitter would hobble to the locker room with the aid of a trainer, and is unlikely to return to the game — with the Spurs up by 20 for most of the second half, he's also unlikely to need to come back.

Prior to the injury, Splitter had been having a quiet night, with six points and five rebounds, and was the only Spurs starter to not reach double figures in scoring.

If the Spurs can hold on to Game 3, Splitter might get a little more time off: The Spurs would be in great shape to sweep the Lakers in this series, and their next opponent in the Western Conference Semifinals would be the winner of a quarterfinal series between the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors that seems assured of going at least six games.

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