Duncan Won’t Stomach Sitting In Game 2

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SAN ANTONIO – One of the most amazing parts of a stunning comeback by the Spurs in Game 1 against the Warriors Monday night was that they did it without their foundational player, who was stricken by a severe intestinal illness.

But Tim Duncan said he’s already feeling much better and hopes to go the distance in Game 2 on Wednesday night at the AT&T Center (9:30 ET, TNT).

“Rough night last night, getting over this sickness,” Duncan said Tuesday. “It kind of caught up to me later in the game. But probably the best thing for the team was me was going out.

“I couldn’t (play) at that point. I wanted to, but I was hurting us out there. I couldn’t move. It was the right thing to do for me to get out of there. I knew I’d have some difficulty. I just didn’t think it would be at that level.”

Duncan gutted out 34 minutes, scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds before Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made the command decision to remove him from the game. The Warriors upped their lead to 104-88 soon after he left with 4:31 remaining in the fourth quarter and headed to the locker room. That was precisely the time when San Antonio’s improbable rally began.

Duncan’s teammates said they were unaware that the 37-year-old was ailing through the first two quarters of the game. But Manu Ginobili said the problem became evident in the second half.

“I realized in a timeout, where his eyes were lost and he couldn’t raise his head. Pop was talking to him and he was not looking. He was staring at the floor.”

“It became pretty apparent that he wasn’t going to tell me the truth anymore, so I had to pull the plug myself,” Popovich said. “He’s a competitor and he didn’t want to come off the floor.”

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, teams in NBA playoff history had been 0-392 when trailing by 16 or more points with four minutes or less left in the game.

However, Duncan’s teammates rallied in his absence, playing flawlessly down the stretch, shooting 6-for-6 from the field and ending with Danny Green’s 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime.

Duncan came back onto the court for the last six seconds of the first overtime and the final second of the second overtime. He spent the rest of the time in the Spurs’ training room, suffering physically and mentally.

“It was unbelievable,” Duncan said. “I was in the locker room watching it, and I see us getting closer and closer. I debated even coming back out there. Whatever superstition it might be, I wanted to stay right where I was. It felt bad coming out there and they get a lead again.

“It was great just to see the guys and everything going the way we wanted to go. A lot of credit to Golden State; they were unbelievable. Steph Curry put on a show out there. But we stuck with it and used every minute that we had. It was just an unbelievable game to be a part of.”

The 14-time All-Star hopes to be part of all of Game 2.

“Another day and a half, I hope to have it out of my system,” he said.”

11 Comments

  1. Derrick says:

    The Spurs are a very well balanced team with a very good coach. However, I think that NBA fans must have more power over what happens in the teams, just like in http://basketball-united.com

  2. Rich8591 says:

    Mark Jackson should be fired for letting game one get away like he did. with four minutes left in regulation, there are a minimum of five possessions left per team. with a 16 point lead, all you have to do is kill the clock to reduce the number of possessions as much as possible and play defense, make maybe two baskets until the end of the game, and it is almost impossilbe to lose the game. Nobody on the Warriors seemed to understand they just needed to run the clock. Gotta love the Spurs for never giving up and playing like champions to get the W.

  3. Peter Baron says:

    Okay, I’m ready for it. Take your shots! Warriors win this game and game three here at home. You know, ROARCLE.

    Yes, we blew it. Klay fouling out was the difference maker but we had your number all game. You are right we lost and you won. But just like with Denver, we shall overcome. Go Curry, Bogut and the rest of the boys!!

  4. S.R. says:

    Best playoff game of the year!!!

  5. ron says:

    This shows why Popovich is the best coach in the league. He knows his players, he takes care of them, and he is not afraid to make decisions to take star players out of the game . He sits players when needed ( even though Stern/corporate TV ratings don’t aprove). Go Spurs and Warriors. Both great teams to watch. Real team ball without all the star hoopla.

  6. Bird33 says:

    Take note teams that don’t have “heart” (Miami, Brooklyn)….. This is what it looks and sounds like….in case you’re interested lol

  7. karmazz11 says:

    -duncan-parker-manu = legends. real mens, not mtv boys like popovich says.
    SO now i’ll comment the “censored” articles, where they are not allowing us to give our opinion(s)

    -beasley : if i were your boss, you are fired, toxicrime, and lazy worker – if i was nba commissioner, get out of this league there is a starter place in the jail court (but stern is the king of unprofessional nba style)

    -kobe- are you serious ? give money to your mother, i don’t care if she is a monster. you have hundreds of millions, just give it or buy back your items. crazy money peoples

    -fisher, at your second flops, you are suspended for a game. 1 flops = yellow card 1 technical (flops has to be reviewable) 2 flops = red card OUT. + like a red card in soccer, suspended. + flops gives 2 FT + possession, like a flagrant foul.

    -

  8. & TD still a beast-beast of the west-leaving it all out on the floor! Both TD & KG always give the game all they have w/o a thought & never complain-that’s Old School Bball-real/true Ballers!

  9. Great comeback-now that’s what you call team basketball!

  10. kavika6 says:

    Can’t wait to see the REAL Tim Duncan in the next game. Just like the Memorial Day Miracle game the Spurs won’t look back for the rest of the series.