Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Texas_news_e486
AT&T CENTER--Through large portions of the game the Atlanta Hawks had Johan Petro and Anthony Tolliver defending Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard. If you knew nothing else about this game, that should be enough to explain the San Antonio Spurs 99-97 victory. Need more analysis? Unfortunately there isn't much else positive to take away from this win. That Tim Duncan can still carry a team on his back with 31 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and three assists is a remarkable feat. The fact that he had to against an Atlanta Hawks team missing Devin Harris, Al Horford, Kyle Korver, and Josh Smith is distressing. "Tim Duncan saved us. He's such a professional. We're so lucky to have him here for as long as we have," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. "He was the ultimate professional and he rose above a lot to do it.  "We had some guys that hadn't played much that busted their butts. But in general, other than Timmy, in a lot of ways it was a pathetic performance. That kind of play isn't going to get us very far at the end of the season. And it's not the first time we've played like that in the last few weeks. This team needs to get its head around itself and understand what it takes to be there, because as a group they don't have it right now." If the team needs an understanding of what it takes, it needs to look no further than its leader. Duncan had nearly his entire offensive repertoire at his disposal tonight, dropping in turnaround jumpers, jab-and-go drives, drop steps, jumpers, and even a dunk or two for good measure.  Over the past 10 games Duncan is putting up roughly 22 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks and three assists in 32 minutes. He again anchored the defense with four blocks, holding afloat a defense that Popovich said has slid over the course of the past two months.  "I have my shot back now, it feels good," Duncan said. "I feel good all around, I feel healthy. I'm running well, playing without pain, and my shot is going in." Second-year forward Kawhi Leonard joined Duncan, scoring his second consecutive 20-point game with 23 points on an efficient 7-10 shooting from the field and 7-8 from the free throw line.  Outside of that, the Spurs got a decent stretch from DeJuan Blair (11 points, seven rebounds) and some rare shot-blocking (four!) from Matt Bonner.  The bench lost track of reserves Mike Scott (22 points, finding open jumpers available as he pleased), John Jenkins (23 points), and allowed Shelvin Mack to dissect their defense with 12 points and eight assists. "The chemistry is not where it needs to be, where it usually is," Danny Green said. "We've had a lot of injuries, a lot of guys in and out. The chemistry is just off right now and we're not playing up to our standards defensively. "We need to trust each other, that's the biggest thing when it comes to defense, trusting each other and communicating with each other. Good defensive teams play on a string, as Timmy would say, and trust each other, have each other's back regardless of what happens." The game was at times sloppy and listless. The sharpness present in the Spurs execution through most of the season has dulled as injuries have sapped their strengths.  "There's a lot we need to do, a lot we need to work on," Stephen Jackson said. "I think a game like this, no disrespect to the Hawks, we should win by a bigger margin."    
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eagles players don't share McCoy's views on Chip Kelly

Bryant attends Cowboys OTAs despite not signing contract

Are Dwyane Wade and the Heat headed for a split?

Good news for the effort to bring an NHL team to Vegas

Adrian Peterson goes on social media rant regarding contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: John Wall, friends kicked off plane in Las Vegas

Broncos OT Ryan Clady suffers torn ACL in practice

Report: Buffalo Sabres to hire Dan Bylsma as head coach

Marc Trestman will make Joe Flacco a Pro Bowler

Could Tyrod Taylor be the Buffalo Bills’ savior?

Chicago Bulls fire Tom Thibodeau after five seasons

Is Sam Bradford not close to full health?

Five NFL players who paid dearly to obtain jersey numbers

Dee Gordon thought Marlins’ manager hire was a joke

Which MLB teams are most changed since Opening Day?

Seattle Mariners: Back to .500

JJ Watt doesn't care for chance to be on 'Hard Knocks'

McElwain compliments Muschamp culture at UF, previous staff 'snakebit'

Montreal mayor to meet Manfred in hopes of getting a franchise back

Five things we'd like to see on 'Hard Knocks' with the Texans

Chipper Jones challenged military veteran to fight

President Obama answers NBA questions on Twitter

'Entourage' creator rips Eli Manning for ditching movie

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Is Sam Bradford not close to full health?

Are Dwyane Wade and the Heat headed for a split?

Good news for the effort to bring an NHL team to Vegas

JJ Watt doesn't care for chance to be on 'Hard Knocks'

Ryan Clady suffers torn ACL

'Entourage' creator rips Eli Manning

Brandon Marshall, Geno Smith are roommates

The Cavaliers are top (under)dogs

Bryce Harper on his breakout

WATCH: Jon Lester sets MLB hitless record

Six moves that made the Warriors NBA title contenders

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.