Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 4/6/13
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

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

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

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker