One of the most recognizable features Tim Duncan has is his ‘Me?!’ face after being called for a foul. In the 101-95 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, the San Antonio Spurs actually had to do without him for the final six minutes of the game as he fouled out.
It’s quite rare to see Duncan heading to the bench early, as it was the first time since 2010 that Duncan was called for six fouls. Duncan fouled out 14 times during his career from his rookie season in 1997-1998 up till January 2010, when he picked up six fouls in a loss to the Utah Jazz. An average of once per season.
While some people found it remarkable that Duncan had only 26 minutes of work time when he punched out, he has had quicker foul-outs. In 2008 he needed only 25 minutes and 25 seconds to foul out in a 101-98 over the Kings and early in the 2002-2003 season, a year the Spurs won the championship in, it took him only 21 minutes to foul out against the pre-LeBron James Cavs.
Duncan did manage to do some damage against the Pelicans besides fouling Anthony Davis, finishing with 18 points and 9 rebounds during his short time on the court. Tony Parker (27 points) and Manu Ginobili (14 points) made sure that Duncan’s fouls and the injuries to Danny Green and Tiago Splitter wouldn’t get in the way of picking up their 30th win this season, the first team in the NBA to reach that mark so far.