The banged-up Spurs will likely be without the NBA’s reigning MVP when they take on the visiting Miami Heat.
Duncan left Monday’s 88-80 loss at Memphis late in the first quarter with a mild left ankle sprain and will have an MRI on Tuesday. He was listed as doubtful for the game against the Heat.
“When you lose the MVP, it changes what you do because a lot of our menu revolves around Tim,” said Spurs assistant P.J. Carlesimo, who took over the team after coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in the second quarter.
San Antonio already has four guards sidelined with injuries. Anthony Carter and Devin Brown are both out with left knee tendinitis and Alex Garcia fractured his left foot. Starting point guard Tony Parker is day-to-day with a sore ankle.
Popovich said Parker definitely would not play Tuesday and was doubtful for Thursday against the Lakers.
“Everybody’s got injured guys at some point,” Popovich said. “You don’t even think about it, but it’s a little difficult since our first-, second- and third-string point guards are gone.”
Duncan, who is averaging 18.7 points and 16.0 rebounds, dominated the Heat last season, averaging 17.0 points and 17.5 rebounds in two meetings. He grabbed an NBA season-high 23 defensive rebounds in the Spurs’ 67-65 win over Miami on Feb. 1. His 25 total boards for the game was also an NBA season high.
San Antonio is 22-10 all-time against Miami, including a 15-1 mark at home. The Heat have dropped their last four games in San Antonio.
The Heat also have all kinds of personnel issues.
Miami is without Eddie Jones (sore right hand) and Dwyane Wade (left hip pointer). Forward Samaki Walker was placed on the injured list Monday with an ailing right shoulder. Jones and Wade are day-to-day and are expected back by the weekend.
He made a 3-pointer on his first shot, then missed his next five field-goal attempts.