Tim Duncan made NBA history last night when he became the oldest player in history to record a 20-20 game when his San Antonio Spurs beat the Atlanta Hawks on Monday evening.
But the 23 point, 21 rebound performance was not enough for the Spurs legend, who also scored the dramatic game-winning jump shot with 0.4 seconds left on the clock in the narrow 102-100 victory.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was the first to heap praise upon the match-winner, saying: "(Duncan) did a great job. We were having a tough night in a lot of ways and he was superb."
Duncan, who has been at San Antonio since 1997, seemed to be struggling during the first part of the season, including a career-low display on November 13th versus Washington, where he only managed to score two points.
But things have picked up from there, and the power forward has mustered an average of 16.6 points and 10.2 rebounds in his last five games.
"I feel a lot healthier now," he said. "For a while there, I was dealing with some stuff, but now my body is feeling good and I'm starting to get my legs underneath me."
Atlanta center Al Horford led the plaudits for his opponent from the other team, saying: "We know the type of player he is. He's just a winner; he finds ways every time."
It was also an emotional night for Mike Budenholzer, the current Hawks head coach who was returning to San Antonio for the first time since the end of his 19-year stay on their staff, and he received a rapturous reception from the home fans before the start of the game.
"It was a heck of an NBA basketball game," he said. "I'm proud of our guys. It was a very good effort. If we play that long and that hard in games, we're going to be OK.
"San Antonio tests you in a lot of different ways. They test you on both ends of the court. It's good for our guys to compete the way they competed."
In the end, though, the night belonged to one man and one man only.
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