The reigning two-time MVP returned on Wednesday after missing six games with a leg injury as the Spurs routed the Los Angeles Clippers 108-90.
San Antonio, which will host the Golden State Warriors on Friday, went 4-2 without its star center.
The Spurs easily won on Wednesday and Duncan had little to do with the victory. He scored nine points on 4-for-10 shooting and had a season-low two rebounds in 15 minutes.
“It felt good to get up and down the court,” Duncan said. “It’s a process right now. It’s going to take a while, my minutes are going to increase … As I feel better, I’ll let myself back in the lineup.”
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said the plan going in was to use Duncan sparingly.
“He was going to play 15 minutes no matter what,” Popovich said. “He needs to get his timing back and a feel for the court.”
Parker was happy to have Duncan back, but knows he’s not completely healthy.
“I don’t think he’s 100 percent yet—his knee is still bothering him a little bit,” Parker said. “We want to play uptempo, but not forget about Timmy.”
With the Spurs nearly at full strength, it will be difficult for the Warriors to end their seven-game losing streak.
Jason Richardson had 19 points and Mike Dunleavy added 15 and eight rebounds for Golden State in Wednesday’s 91-77 loss to Utah. It was the 19th straight loss in Utah for the Warriors, who never recovered from a first half in which the Jazz shot 59 percent and forced 14 turnovers.
“They just beat us from the start,” Dunleavy said.
STANDINGS (through March 10): Warriors - 6th place, 22 GB, Pacific Division. Spurs - 2nd place, 2 GB, Midwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Warriors - Richardson, 18.9 ppg; Dampier, 11.7 rpg; Van Exel, 5.3 apg. Spurs - Duncan, 22.9 ppg and 12.8 rpg; Parker, 5.3 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 29; Warriors, 91-89. At Golden State, Nick Van Exel scored 16 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Warriors. Duncan, who missed a wide-open 20-footer in the final second, led San Antonio with 27 points and 15 rebounds. Parker added 19 points, and Nesterovic had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Warriors - 7-25 on the road; Spurs - 23-8 at home.