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Video: Tim Duncan Beats Hawks with Game-Winner

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Duncan had a throwback game last night with 23 points, 21 rebounds and the game-winner.

Nights like last night are the reason I don't want Tim Duncan to ever retire. At 37 and currently in his 17th season, his NBA days are certainly drawing to a close. The San Antonio Spurs keep chugging right along, but Duncan's numbers are finally beginning to sputter a little bit. He is averaging career lows across the board through the first 18 games of the season: 13 points, 8 rebounds, 44.4 percent shooting from the field, 27.9 MPG. 

But last night, Duncan turned back the clock. Against the Atlanta Hawks, he dropped a ridiculous 23 points and 21 rebounds (to go with two assists, a steal and two blocks) in 35 minutes of play. After grabbing double-digit rebounds just once prior, Duncan busts out and snags 21 of them last night (15 defensive rebounds, 6 offensive). He had scored 20+ points only twice before, and he does that as well. 

In his long, storied career, Duncan had only registered 20 double-doubles before last night's effort, but last night's was special. With the effort, Duncan became the oldest player to put up a 20/20 game in NBA history

Video: Tim Duncan Beats Hawks with Game-Winner

If that wasn't awesome enough, Duncan also hit the game winner at the end of the fourth quarter. Coming off a down screen by Marco Belinelli, Duncan caught Manu Ginobili's pass at the elbow and was pure with the shot. There was no way DeMarre Carroll was getting to Duncan's high release to contest the shot in time. Brilliant play design by Gregg Popovich and perfect execution by the Spurs.

Because the Spurs are playing so well as a team, Popovich has the luxury of not having to use Duncan all that much. Even though we know he wants to keep Timmy fresh for the postseason, I selfishly want to see him out there as much as possible before he actually is gone, especially so we can see more memorable performances like last night's. Never retire, Timmy.

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