With Tony Parker already back home nursing his latest injury, the Spurs survived a potentially season-altering incident when Tim Duncan collapsed to the floor clutching his right knee during the first quarter of Thursday’s 109-100 victory at Dallas.

Replays showed Duncan’s knee buckle while battling for a rebound, sending him spilling to the court in obvious pain. He limped back to the locker room with 5:58 remaining and the Spurs holding a 17-8 lead. Three minutes later, Duncan was back on the court and no worse for wear. Indeed, he soldiered through a team-high 39 minutes en route to 20 points and 15 rebounds.

“It really wasn’t that bad,” Duncan said. “It just scared me more than anything.”

It was similar to last year’s home game against Washington, when Duncan escaped unscathed after Martell Webster fell into his left knee. The difference then was that the knee brace Duncan wears to support the joint saved him from what otherwise would have been a catastrophic injury.