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Remembering Tim Duncan’s final 30-point performance

The Big Fundamental was a dominant force even at an advanced age

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Timothy Theodore Duncan was a paradoxically quiet yet era-defining force, leading the San Antonio Spurs to five championships over the span of three separate decades. He may not have been the flashiest superstar to grace the league, but the legendary power forward’s attention to detail epitomized textbook execution on both ends of the floor.

The Big Fundamental spent the entirety of his career with the Silver and Black, winning countless accolades, including Rookie of the Year, MVP, Finals MVP, and Teammate of the Year. Few players have a trophy case as decorated as Timmy, though few players own more playoff victories than 21 other NBA franchises.

Duncan’s dominance began the moment he set foot on a professional basketball court against the Denver Nuggets on Halloween in 1997. And his reign as the anchor of the Spurs dynasty came to a bittersweet close following a 2016 second-round series-ending loss versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.

There are plenty of legacy-defining matchups in the storied career of Tim Duncan, but his final 30 point game at 38-years-old highlights an unparalleled run of sustained excellence. Old Man Riverwalk’s first 30 point outing came 22 contests into his rookie season, and his last 30 point night came in game 49 of season 18, with 156 such performances in between the two.

Although Father Time and several lower-body injuries sapped Duncan of his mobility, a sky-high basketball IQ coupled with masterful footwork kept him in the league long past his prime. It’s also what allowed him to keep pace with an uber-athletic DeAndre Jordan with his 39th birthday right around the corner.

Moments like these are why Tim Duncan will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in the Class of 2020 alongside all-time greats Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Rudy Tomjanovich, and Tamika Catchings. Before we reach that monumental August 29th date, let’s first enjoy Timmy dropping a 30-piece one last time.