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Duncan, Garnett get restful All-Star Game. Harden not so much.

Feb 18, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Tim Duncan AP

HOUSTON — Combined Kevin Durant and Tim Duncan had played in 26 All-Star Games before their planes even landed in Houston this weekend. Both veterans would have preferred a weekend off from the game this year.

Their coaches tried to accommodate.

Tim Duncan played 8:03 and Kevin Garnett 6:26. They made their appearance for the fans but both coaches knew the veterans needed their rest.

“I just told Erik (Spoelstra, Miami and Eastern Conference coach) it’s the young guy’s game. Give me a couple minutes and I was cool. He said alright,” Garnett said.

Garnett has said this will be his last All-Star game. We’ll see if that’s true (if you are in the league and selected the league doesn’t really let you just say no. But he has played less than 15 minutes total in the last two All-Star games combined.

The coaches were under no real pressure to play the veterans, but West coach Gregg Popovich was under pressure to play James Harden. The lone Rocket representative was in demand but also had a tweaked ankle.

“I talked to him ahead of time about his ankle and that sort of thing, and he felt it was no problem,” Popovich said after the game. “We tried to get him a little bit of extra time

Harden played 25 minutes and finished with 16 points on 6-of -13 shooting.

But he got a lot of run and hit some key shots. So everyone got what they wanted.

  1. bruiza2k - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    Oh dear lord the editing on this is terrible. Houston is misspelled in the first word; first paragraph should be “Kevin Garnett”, not Kevin Durant…

    • andyhr17 - Feb 18, 2013 at 8:27 AM

      Damn, Houston gets no love. Name can’t be spelled right and for some reason the warm-up uniforms for all the players were in San Antonio Spurs colors.

  2. bjoe23 - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    lmao good article Kurt!!

  3. bjoe23 - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    or should I say Kirt?

  4. Mr. Wright 212 - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Pop is shrewd. Wear out your chief opponents in any way you can. The Thunder are the Spurs’ lone competition (in reality) in the West. Smart move. Same with playing Russ big minutes.

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