"Bad, bad memories," point guard Tony Parker thought to himself. "I thought something was seriously wrong with his knee."
Duncan returned unhampered in the second half to finish with 16 points and seven rebounds, and San Antonio overcame the brief injury scare to beat the Golden State Warriors 113-102 on Monday night.
Manu Ginobili had 20 points and seven assists, Parker added 18 points and 11 assists and the NBA-best Spurs (38-7) cruised to an otherwise stress-free victory that clinched the Western Conference's best record through games of Feb. 6. That means Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will coach the West squad in the All-Star game Feb. 20 at Los Angeles.
Of greater importance to the Spurs was that they left town with their team intact.
"Just fell wrong, got my knee caught underneath me," said Duncan, who had his knee wrapped in the locker room. "Played the second half, so it feels OK."
David Lee had a season-high 31 points to go with 12 rebounds, and Monta Ellis scored 25 for a Warriors team hoping to get into the playoff picture during a huge homestand. Instead, the franchise that knows all about postseason play dominated as it has all season.