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Spurs unsure when Duncan might return

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Tim Duncan is on crutches, and the Spurs don't know when he'll be back.

An MRI exam Tuesday showed no signs of structural damage in Duncan's sprained left ankle. The Spurs won't know how long he might be out until later this week, but Duncan, 34, will miss at least the next three games as the NBA's winningest team tries to clinch the West's No. 1 seed.

"It structurally looks good," general manager R.C. Buford said. "We will have a better idea of what the timeline is in the next 48 hours."

Duncan sprained the ankle Monday night in a win over the Warriors. Barely four minutes had passed when Duncan, after making a short jumper, landed awkwardly on his left foot and collapsed beneath the basket.

The two-time MVP lay clutching the foot for more than a minute in the scariest moment for the Spurs all season. San Antonio has reclaimed its place atop the NBA after injuries derailed it the past few years.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Derrick Rose had 30 points and 10 assists, helping the visiting Bulls move back in the East lead with a 114-81 win over the Hawks.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Sacramento Mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson said the Kings' possible relocation to Anaheim "feels like a slow death" and this "will likely be the Kings' final weeks in Sacramento after 26 years." Johnson's comments were posted on his website and were his strongest yet about the franchise's potential move. … Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay needs surgery on his injured left shoulder and will miss the rest of the season. … Bucks guard Michael Redd participated in practice and is planning to play Friday after missing 14 months following knee surgery. … Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love did not practice because of a strained left groin.

Bulls 114, Hawks 81

CHICAGO (114): Deng 10-15 6-6 27, Boozer 3-8 0-2 6, Noah 4-6 0-0 8, Rose 11-20 2-3 30, Bogans 2-2 0-0 6, Gibson 4-6 1-1 9, K.Thomas 2-2 0-0 4, Brewer 0-2 0-0 0, Asik 1-1 5-8 7, Watson 3-9 2-2 8, Korver 3-6 2-2 9, Butler 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 43-79 18-24 114.

ATLANTA (81): Williams 3-8 3-4 9, Smith 6-12 2-4 14, Horford 6-7 2-2 14, Hinrich 0-3 0-0 0, Johnson 6-11 1-2 13, Crawford 1-4 0-0 2, Pachulia 0-3 5-6 5, Wilkins 0-2 0-0 0, Collins 0-0 0-0 0, Teague 6-9 4-4 20, Armstrong 1-3 1-2 4, Powell 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 29-64 18-24 81.

Chicago 31 41 26 16— 114

Atlanta 21 22 17 21— 81

3-Point GoalsChicago 10-18 (Rose 6-8, Bogans 2-2, Korver 1-2, Deng 1-3, Butler 0-1, Watson 0-2), Atlanta 5-6 (Teague 4-4, Armstrong 1-1, Hinrich 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsChicago 52 (Gibson 8), Atlanta 31 (Johnson 5). AssistsChicago 30 (Rose 10), Atlanta 16 (Hinrich 5). Total FoulsChicago 22, Atlanta 23. A18,203 (18,729).

Playoff chase

EastW L GB GL

1. Chicago-y 51 19 - 12

2. Boston-y 50 19 ½ 13

3. Miami-x 48 22 3 12

4. Orlando-x 45 26 6½ 11

5. Atlanta 40 31 11½ 11

6. Philadelphia 36 34 15 12

7. New York 35 35 16 12

8. Indiana 31 40 20½ 11

Milwaukee 28 41 22½ 13

Charlotte 28 41 22½ 13

Detroit 25 45 26 12

New Jersey 22 47 28½ 13

West W L GB GL

1. San Antonio-x 57 13 - 12

2. L.A. Lakers-y 50 20 7 12

3. Dallas-x 49 21 8 12

4. Oklahoma City 45 24 11½ 13

5. Denver 42 29 15½ 11

6. Portland 40 30 17 12

7. New Orleans 40 31 17½ 11

8. Memphis 39 32 18½ 11

Houston 37 34 20½ 11

Phoenix 35 33 21 14

Utah 36 35 21½ 11

Golden State 30 41 27½ 11

y-Clinched division x-Clinched playoffs

Spurs unsure when Duncan might return 03/22/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:58pm]

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