Spurs ease into All-Star break with win over Pistons

Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe (10) shoots on San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and Tiago Splitter (22) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Danny Green scored 19 points and Tony Parker added 17, and the San Antonio Spurs easily brushed aside the Detroit Pistons 104-87 on Wednesday night.

Manu Ginobili added 13 points for San Antonio, which won this game amid little fanfare after coach Gregg Popovich reached 1,000 victories two days earlier. The Spurs held Detroit to 12 points in the first quarter and led comfortably through just about the entire second half.

D.J. Augustin scored 22 points for the Pistons and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 20, but Detroit simply looked overmatched for most of the night. The Spurs led 48-39 at halftime and then went on a 16-7 run at the start of the third quarter in the final game for both teams before the All-Star break.

Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said before the game he felt he’d contributed enough to Popovich’s win total — he just didn’t want to get the San Antonio coach started on his next 1,000 victories. But win No. 1,001 turned out to be pretty routine for Popovich.

The Spurs defended the basket well, holding Detroit big men Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe to 7-of-20 shooting. The Pistons went 9 of 21 from 3-point range, but they finished below their season average of 25 attempts per game from beyond the arc.

One of Detroit’s 3-pointers that went in was a heave from midcourt by John Lucas III at the end of the first half, but San Antonio answered that by making seven of its first eight shots in the third quarter.

The Spurs toyed with Detroit during that period, whipping the ball around impressively on offense and shooting 67 percent from the field. San Antonio had 10 assists in the third quarter and finished the game with 26.

The Spurs avenged a home loss to the Pistons last month. Detroit beat San Antonio 105-104 on Jan. 6 when Brandon Jennings made a last-second bank shot. Jennings is now out with an Achilles injury.

TIP-INS

Spurs: Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard combined for two points on 0-of-10 shooting in the first half. They each finished with eight points.

Pistons: Caron Butler missed the game because of back spasms, and Cartier Martin was out with a sprained right ankle.

UP NEXT

Spurs: At the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 19.

Pistons: Host Chicago on Feb. 20.

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