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Duncan leaves Spurs' 18th straight home win with leg injuries

Updated: 2013-02-04 08:01
By Associated Press in San Antonio, Texas ( China Daily)

 Duncan leaves Spurs' 18th straight home win with leg injuries

San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan lies on the floor after being injured during the first half against the Washington Wizards on Saturday in San Antonio. The Spurs said Duncan had sprained his right ankle and left knee. Associated Press

Tim Duncan was on the floor for several minutes, grabbing his left leg. Then he was helped to the trainer's room by teammates 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 first half, but the Spurs went on to a 96-86 win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night for their 10th consecutive victory.

Tony Parker had 19 points and 12 assists for San Antonio (38-11), which has won 18 straight at home. Danny Green added 15 points and Tiago Splitter scored 12.

Duncan left the locker room without speaking to reporters, but Parker said he talked to his fellow All-Star after the game.

"He's fine, he's fine," Parker said. "It's nothing big. I'm sure (coach Gregg Popovich) is going to be very conscious about his knee and we'll see."

The injury appeared to be much worse when Duncan went down with 3:54 left in the second quarter.

Washington's Martell Webster rolled into the back of Duncan's legs while fighting for a rebound with 3:54 left in the second quarter, and there were audible gasps in the crowd while the two-time NBA MVP was down. Play continued, prompting Popovich to continually scream for a timeout.

"That was scary when you see that," Washington coach Randy Wittman said. "Those are always the ones you don't want to see when a guy falls into you while your feet are planted on the ground. I just talked to his doctors and they said he is going to be fine."

Duncan returned to the lineup after missing the past four games with a sore left knee. Recently selected to his 14th All-Star game, Duncan is averaging 17.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this season.

The crowd gave Duncan a loud ovation as he rose and was helped to the trainer's room. The fans than began chanting "Let's Go Spurs" in unison, which seemed to help the team overcome the shock of the injury.

San Antonio closed the first half on an 11-3 run, with Parker scoring two points and picking up two assists, and led 51-26 at the break.

Duncan had eight points and five rebounds in 13 minutes before the injuries, helping San Antonio get off to a fast start.

John Wall scored 21 points and Webster had 14 for Washington (11-35), which has lost 13 straight to San Antonio.

San Antonio used its superior ball movement and rotating defense to dominate Washington from the start.

Green ran in front of Wall to grab the opening tip, sprinting to the basket to throw down a one-handed dunk against the former No. 1 overall pick. San Antonio opened the game with a 15-4 run sparked by Parker and Duncan. The Spurs' All-Stars were a combined 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.

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