When a team scores 31 points, 34 points, and 30 points in three consecutive quarters, while also out-rebounding you on the glass, the odds of winning a game might be stacked against you.
That was the case for the San Antonio Spurs on Friday as they were defeated by a young Detroit Pistons team 119-109, to put an end to the Spurs’ 11-game win streak.
Detroit made the hustle plays throughout the evening (49-33 rebounds), they had two players who played at a high level all night and couldn’t be stopped (Greg Monroe – 26 points, 16 rebounds. Brandon Knight - 24 points), and it looked like they made anything that was open (52% shooting from the field).
The Spurs’ defense was discombobulated as it allowed the Pistons to score over 20 points in every quarter and allowed them to connect on 10 made 3-pointers. Tony Parker had another superb performance with 31 points and eight assists, but without his teammates Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili there to support him with another 20 points, and especially missing Duncan’s presence inside the paint, the Spurs just couldn’t get a grip on the game.
Here are some of the other key points in the game.
Parker’s 31, yet again
In consecutive games on the road, Parker scored 31 points and seemed to do everything he could to help his team comeback from being down by 21 points at one point, but it was never enough. In the fourth quarter the Spurs cut the Pistons lead down to seven points, and Parker was a main reason for that by scoring 10 points in the final quarter.
The Young Wings
Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green again showed a glimpse of the what the future Spurs could look like when Duncan and Ginobili retire, as Leonard chipped in 16 points, most notably a steal and dunk in the fourth quarter, and also a 3-pointer in the Spurs’ comeback. Green’s hot shooting from beyond the arc continued as he connected on 5-of-7 three pointers in the game, none more critical than the ones he made in the fourth quarter in the Spurs’ attempted comeback. In the end though, the Pistons always had an answer.
Get Well Soon Duncan
With Duncan on the sidelines, the Spurs’ defense was a mess on Friday. Not only did Monroe wreak havoc in the paint, but the Pistons also gained many extra possessions by out-rebounding the Spurs, and they outscored San Antonio in the paint 52-44. With Duncan out, the Pistons had no problem getting into the lane, breaking the Spurs’ defensive scheme, and finding each other for open 3-pointers throughout the night.
Monroe looked unstoppable
The Spurs’ frontcourt had no answer for stopping Monroe on Friday. Whether he would catch the ball at the free throw line and use a spin move to score a layup, or hit an elbow jumper, Monroe always found a way to score on Tiago Splitter (10 points), and company.
The Fearless Knight
Though he took 21 shots on the evening, Knight was superb in the second half as he had Green chasing him around many screens to get an opening and hit a jumper. No shot in the game was bigger for the Pistons than in the fourth quarter, with the Spurs getting the score down to seven, and Knight gaining separation from Green and nailing a quick 3-pointer.
Maybe onto Brooklyn?
Up next for the Spurs’ Rodeo Road Trip (1-1) is a stop in Brooklyn, but due to the severe storms that are about to hit the east coast, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said the night flight to Brooklyn had been canceled and the team would figure out a way to get to Brooklyn on Saturday.
Where they stand
With the loss, the Spurs fell to 39-12 on the season and 17-10 on the road. The Pistons came in averaging 95 points per game and walked out of the Palace of Auburn Hills scoring 119. The loss to the Pistons indicated the Spurs are now 21-2 against teams with a losing record, and 21-4 when either winning or losing by 10 or more points.