SAN ANTONIO -- Nearing the end of an 82-game season, the ups and downs and injuries can take a toll on a team. Both the Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs were experiencing it Saturday. The difference for the Spurs was a healthy Tim Duncan.
Duncan had 31 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 99-97 win over the Hawks at AT&T center.
The 36-year-old Duncan, who recorded his third 30-point, 10-rebound game this season, was 12 of 21 from the field and added four blocks in 33 minutes.
Kawhi Leonard added 23 points and DeJuan Blair had 11 as San Antonio (57-20) won for only the second time in a week.
"Yeah, I have my shot back now," Duncan said. "I feel good all around. Luckily I feel healthy. I'm running well and playing without pain and my shot is going in."
The Spurs have struggled recently, having lost three of their past four games, including a 100-88 loss to Oklahoma City on Thursday. The slide has moved the Spurs and Thunder into a tie for the top seed in the Western Conference.
More important, Tony Parker was sidelined again, this time with a sore neck. He joined Manu Ginobili (strained right hamstring) on the bench.
Nando De Colo started in his place and had six points, four assists and three turnovers in limited action.
"Well, Tim Duncan saved us. He's such a professional. We're so lucky to have him here for as long as we have," said coach Gregg Popovich, who was less than happy with his team's play. "In general, other than Timmy (Duncan), in a lot of ways it was a pathetic performance. That kind of play isn't going to get us very far at the end of the season."
The lethargic Spurs struggled from the 3-point line, going 3 for 15, allowing the Hawks to keep it close despite playing with their leading scorers.
Atlanta (42-36) was in a similar setback with Josh Smith (left knee), Al Horford (right hamstring), Kyle Korver and Devin Harris (sore left foot) all sitting out the game.
With only eight players in the rotation and coming off a loss to Philadelphia on Friday night, the Hawks shot 42 percent from the field.
They were 22 of 25 from the free-throw line.
John Jenkins, coming off the bench, led the Hawks with 23 points. Mike Scott added 22 points, Ivan Johnson 14, Shelvin Mack 12 and Johan Petro 11 points and 15 rebounds.
"It was fun," Jenkins said. "I wasn't expecting to have many minutes, but I knew we were kind of depleted, so I was ready for the challenge. I started hitting a couple of shots and guys found me for open buckets. I was kind of feeling it throughout the night."
Mack had back-to-back 3-pointers as Atlanta ended the third quarter down 73-69.
Tiago Splitter's hook shot with 2:30 in the fourth quarter brought the lead back up to nine, 94-85.
Atlanta outscored the Spurs 12-5 down the stretch, but it was not enough to close the gap.
The Spurs hit five straight free throws, the last two with 18 seconds left to seal the win.
Dahntay Jones was fouled on a 3-point attempt with a second on the game clock, but hit just 2 of 3 to make the final margin.
"Being shorthanded tonight and playing against one of the better teams in our league, I thought my guys really did a good job just in competing at a high level," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "They had no quit in them. They came out and fought from start to finish. We came out and played, and I'm very proud of them."
Leonard had a layup at the halftime buzzer to give the Spurs a 51-40 lead.
Duncan had 18 points in the first half.
NOTES: San Antonio, which has been plagued with injuries, has had 13 players start this season, the most players with at least one start of any NBA team. ... Atlanta GM Danny Ferry played for the Spurs (2000-03) and worked in their front office (2003-05, 2010-2012). ... The Hawks' Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles) and Lou Williams (torn ACL, right knee) were out of action for a total of five players on the injured list. ... Spurs forwards Stephen Jackson and Matt Bonner share the same birthday, April 5. They celebrated, along with teammates and friends, Friday night with a theme party based on the movie "Anchorman" at a local movie theater. ... Spurs forward Boris Diaw played nine minutes and had no points in the first half before heading to the locker room with back spasms. He did not return.