Tim Duncan was on the floor for a bit, grabbing his left leg. Then he was helped the trainer’s room by squad Stephen Jackson and DeJuan Blair.
And just like that, all the excitement for another San Antonio victory was gone.
Duncan sprained his left knee and right ankle in the 1st half, but the Spurs went on to a 96-86 win over the Wizards for their 10th consecutive victory.
Tony Parker had 19 points and 12 assists for San Antonio (38-11) that has won 18 straight at home. Danny Green added 15 points and Tiago Splitter scored 12.
The injury seemed to be far worse when Duncan went down with 3:54 left in second quarter.
Washington’s Martell Webster rolled into the back of Duncan’s legs while fighting for a bounce with 3:54 left in the 2nd quarter, and there were audible gasps in the group while the 2-time NBA MVP was down. Play continued, prompting Popovich to constantly scream for a timeout.
Duncan returned to the lineup after missing the past 4 games with a sore left knee. Lately selected to his 14th All-Star game, Duncan is averaging 17.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this season.
San Antonio closed the 1st half on an 11-3 run, with Parker scoring 2 points and picking up 2 assists, and led 51-26 at the break.
Duncan had 8 points and 5 rebounds in 13 minutes before the injuries, helping San Antonio Spurs get off to a fast start.
John Wall scored 21 points and Webster had 14 for Washington Wizards (11-35), which has lost 13 straight to San Antonio.
San Antonio used its superior ball movement and revolving defense to control Washington from the start.
Green ran in front of Wall to snatch the opening tip, running to the basket to throw down a one-handed dunk against the previous No. 1 overall pick. San Antonio opened the game with a 15-4 run due to Parker and Duncan. The Spurs’ All-Stars were a mixed 5 for 5 from the field with Parker picking up three assists in the spurt.
Washington shot 35 percent from the field in first quarter and finished at 40 percent overall.
The Washington Wizards fought back in the second half, pulling within 6 with 8:37 left.
”One half we were prepared to play and the second half we received real lackadaisical,” Jackson said. ”We started clock watching rather than playing defense and they managed to get back into the game and that wasn’t acceptable if you all had heard Pop coming in here and screaming.” Scores
Wall had 15 points in the second half, Webster added 10 and Nene and Chris Singleton each scored all 11 of their points in the last 2 quarters.
Splitter re-energized the Spurs, scoring on a dunk and a reverse layup to make it 77-67 with 7:28 left. Splitter had 6 points and 2 rebounds in the last quarter and Parker added 5 points and 3 assists.