Game rewind: TD takes blame – or credit – for those ugly socks

The Spurs debuted their throwback Texas Chaparrals uniforms at home for the first time this season.

After earlier dusting them off in games at New Jersey and the Los Angeles Clippers, local fans finally were able to finally see the uniforms made famous by players like Donnie Freeman, Joe Hamilton and Glen Combs. 

But Tim Duncan didn’t want to stop just wearing the vintage ABA uniforms and warmups. The Spurs captain figured that knee-high compression tube socks would only add to the feel of a vintage ABA uniform.

While some of his teammates joked that Duncan neeed as much blame as credit as blame for his decision, he reveled in a look that looked like something Jackie Moon would have worn in the movie “Semi-Pro.”

“One or the other,” he said when asked about his decision. “I’ll take either.”

Spurs forward-guard Stephen Jackson said the long socks didn’t agree with him.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever worn socks that high and definitely the last,” Jackson said. “My calves were on rotisserie the whole game. They’re too big. But it was good team unity. Everybody did it and it’s bringing us closer as a team. It was fun.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had a tart reaction to Duncan’s fashion sense, saying the socks “looked ridiculous.” But in playing along with the throwback theme, some media members wondered if Popovich would have been more historically correct if he had worn a leisure suit or mimicked some of his mentor Larry Brown’s infamous sweater or overall combinations worn during the ABA.

“Oh, that would have been sweet,” Duncan said. “I should have taken the fine. A jogging suit or something?”

The Spurs could laugh and critique their throwback clothing after their 112-103 victory over Indiana, stretching their winning streak to seven games.

Here’s a look at how they did it.

The game, simply stated: The Spurs had too many offensive weapons, most namely the “Big Three” of Manu Ginobili, Duncan and Tony Parker, who combined for a vintage game to lead the Spurs to a bruising victory over the improving Pacers.

Where the game was won: After George Hill’s layup had pulled the Pacers within 99-92 with 4:56 left, the Spurs answered with a 7-2 run that put the game away. DeJuan Blair started it with a free throw along with two baskets by Duncan and two more foul shots by Blair with 3:14 left that gave the Spurs a 106-94 lead.

Early surge: Lou Amundson’s bucket enabled the Pacers to climb within 25-20 23 seconds into the second quarter. The Spurs took control by erupting on a 30-13 spurt that including scoring from nine different players and 3-pointers from Ginobili, Jackson, Gary Neal, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Leonard’s 3-pointer gave the Spurs a 55-33 lead with 4:05 left in the second quarter and enabled them to match their largest lead of the game. During the run, the Spurs hit 10 of 12 from the field.

Too close for comfort?: The Spurs seemingly had control of the game after Neal hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 94-second span early in the fourth quarter to give them a 96-80 lead with 9:34 left. But Indiana climbed back in the game on a 12-3 run capped by Hill’s 3-pointer with 4:56 left. The Spurs missed five straight shots before Duncan’s critical hoop that started their closing run.

Player of the game I: Despite a heavy defensive effort from old pal Roy Hibbert, Duncan provided 23 points, 11 rebounds, two blocked shots and two assists. Duncan was particularly big in the fourth quarter with six points and five rebounds.

Player of the game II: After a slow start, Parker rebounded to notch 18 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals as he outplayed Darren Collison and Hill.

Player of the game III: Ginobili provided another boost off the bench by providing 18 points, five assists, two rebounds and two steals.

Most unsung: Tiago Splitter did the dirty work inside and also provided an offensive boost in limited playing time with 10 points and seven rebounds in 15:53.

Attendance: The Spurs continued their strong attendance surge with another sellout crowd of 18,581 attracted for Saturday’s game. It was the Spurs’ 19th capacity crowd in 25 home games this season, including 16 of their last 18 home games and 12th in a row. Their last non-capacity home game came Feb. 2 against New Orleans.

Did you notice I: A scary moment came late in the first half when a fan was stricken in the courtside seats and carried off the court to the dressing room by paramedics. Doctors who were involved in the treatment said the fan went into a diabetic shock but their condition improved after receiving treatment after leaving the court.

Did you notice II: Former Spur Hill got a warm welcome when he entered the game with 9:31 left in the first quarter. Several fans held banners greeting Hill, including one that read “Hill Always a Spur,” but the cheering was muted once play continued. Only one fan in the courtside seats stood to applaud for Hill and he quickly sat down when he saw other fans in his seating area didn’t join him.

Stat of the game I:The Spurs claimed an NBA-best seventh straight victory as they improved their record in March to 12-3. Making the record more impressive, the Spurs started the month at 2-2 with two home losses.

Stat of the game II: Duncan’s 23 points and 11 rebounds was his 18th double-double of the season and sixth in his last nine games.

Stat of the game III: It was Duncan’s 18th consecutive double-figure scoring game and 27th double-figure scoring game in his last 28.

Stat of the game IV: The Spurs set a season high for points in a quarter with 39 in the second quarter as they hit a season-best 76.5 percent from the field during that quarter. It topped their previous mark of 76.2 percent against the Los Angeles Clippers in the third quarter of their Dec. 28 victory. Their previous top scoring quarter came in that game with 38 points against the Clippers in the third quarter.

Stat of the game IV: The Spurs continued their strong surge from the perimeter by hitting 9 of 19 attempts from 3-point territory. In their last two games, the Spurs are 19 of 39 from 3-point range (48.7 percent). In their previous three games, they were 15 of 74 (20.3 percent).   

Stat of the game V: Parker finished with 18 points, but he scored only one point in the first quarter and didn’t hit his first field goal until 6:30 remained in the first half.

Stat of the game VI: The Spurs’ victory pulled them within 2½ games of Oklahoma City for the lead in the Western Conference.

Stat of the game VII: Since making the trade for Jackson, the Spurs are 7-1.

Stat of the game VIII: San Antonio’s victory was their ninth straight over the Pacers.

Weird stat of the night I: Duncan was 9 for 9 from the foul line and has hit 21 of his last 22 from the line, improving to 70.2 percent for the season. Before his recent surge, Duncan was hitting 67.2 percent from the line.

Weird stat of the night II: At one point in the game, the Spurs’ bench had a 21-2 edge over the Pacers’ bench. The Spurs finished with a 52-29 edge in bench points.

Weird stat of the night III: Gary Neal hit all four shots, including three 3-pointers, to account for 11 points against Indiana. Including the second half of the Sacramento game Wednesday night, Neal has hit eight consecutive shots, including four straight 3-pointers.

Weird stat of the night IV: Danny Granger converted the first four-point play of the season against the Spurs. His 3-pointer and a foul shot after he was hacked by Kawhi Leonard came with 5:38 left in the game.

Weird stat of the night V: The Spurs produced 22 assists, with all but two of the 10 players who saw action notching at least one.

Weird stat of the night VI: The Spurs never trailed for their ninth wire-to-wire victory this season, including two straight games and four in their last nine games.

Not a good sign: The Spurs allowed Indiana to hit 53.2 percent from the field after allowing Sacramento to hit 54.7 percent from the field on Wednesday. The Spurs permitted opponents to shoot 50 percent or better in five of their first 10 games and eight of their first 18 games. Since then, opponents have reached 50 percent or better in only six of their last 32 games. It also marked only the third time this season that Spurs’ opponents have hit 50 percent or better in back-to-back games. The only other times came in a three-game stretch against Dallas, Denver and Oklahoma City Jan. 5, 7 and 8, and against Houston and New Orleans on Jan. 21 and 23.

Best plus/minus scores: Leonard was at plus-11 and Duncan and Blair were at plus-7.

Worst plus/minus scores: Jackson was even and Neal and Splitter were at plus-2. No Spurs player had a negative score.

Quote of the game: “I had dinner with him and his family and he treated me like one of his own teammates during the summer. I’m going to continue to talk to him and learn from him,” Indiana center Roy Hibbert, on his friendship with Duncan.

How the schedule stacks up: The Spurs will take the next two days off before beginning a brutal end-of-the-season gauntlet with 16 games over the final 23 days of the season, including six back-to-backs. It starts Tuesday in Cleveland, Wednesday in Boston and Friday at home against New Orleans. The Pacers will visit Houston on Sunday before a back-to-back with a home game Tuesday against New York and a road game Wednesday at Washington.

Injuries: The Spurs had a complete roster, although DeJuan Blair was treated in the locker room early in the first quarter after receiving a bloody nose courtesy of a Hibbert elbow. Hibbert left the game for dressing room treatment later in the quarter when he appeared to injure himself after running into a group of courtside photographers. He was back to return to play in several minutes.

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