San Antonio Spurs rally late to defeat Detroit Pistons, 96-93
By RAUL DOMINGUEZ
SAN ANTONIO — The Spurs fought through another injury and the second game of a back-to-back to beat the Detroit Pistons and earn some rare praise from coach Gregg Popovich.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 10 rebounds and San Antonio rallied to beat Detroit 96-93 on Monday night.
“I thought the guys in a tough back-to-back did a heck of a job to hang in there, keep playing and trusting each other,” Popovich said. “We made some great plays down the stretch from a lot of people.”
Reggie Jackson had 27 points for Detroit, which led by as many as nine points before dropping its third straight. Jackson was held to seven points in the second half on 3-for-10 shooting as San Antonio clamped down defensively to win after falling to Oklahoma City on Sunday.
The Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Anderson.
Rudy Gay, making his first start in place of Anderson, had 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. His final points came on a three-point play that gave San Antonio an 88-86 lead with 3:39 remaining.
Detroit trailed 94-93 when Gay failed to hit the rim on a 3-point attempt as the shot clock expired with 5.2 seconds remaining, but the Pistons’ Tobias Harris committed a foul prior to the violation. Aldridge made two free throws to give the Spurs a 96-93 lead.
Gay blocked Harris’ 3-point attempt at the buzzer to preserve the victory.
Andre Drummond finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds for his 17th double-double in Detroit’s 23 games this season.
Jackson had 20 points in the first half and Detroit shot 48 percent against the league’s second-best defense statistically through two quarters. The Spurs held the Pistons to 33 percent shooting in the second half, including 7 for 20 in the fourth.
“I think we go a little too much just one-on-one isolation,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy. “We’ve got to be able to sustain our offensive energy better. I probably overplayed guys tonight, but our bench just struggled, I mean they just struggled.”