Notebook: Spurs 114, Pistons 75

Posted Mar 3, 2013 11:09 PM

Tim Price, for

THE FACTS: Manu Ginobili picked up the slack left by the injured Tony Parker by scoring 17 points -- all of them in less than 12 minutes in the first half -- as the Spurs cruised after that to a 114-75 victory over Detroit on Sunday at AT&T Center.

Parker is expected to miss about four weeks after he sprained his left ankle Friday. He leads the Spurs with 21 points and 7.6 assists a game off 53-percent shooting. But the Spurs (47-14) didn't have trouble in any of those categories against Detroit (23-39). Three others beside Ginobili scored in double figures for San Antonio (Tim Duncan and Danny Green both scored 16 and Kawhi Leonard had 14), and the Spurs shot 51 percent with 35 assists setting up 45 baskets.

The Pistons are 4-6 since defeating San Antonio 23 days ago in Detroit, but have lost five of their last six. Greg Monroe led Detroit with 16 points and Charlie Villanueva had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "We moved the ball really well. We have to with the lack of Tony's penetration, the way he does almost every play. We're going to move the ball and use a lot of pick-and-rolls."
-- Duncan

THE STAT: Parker is one of the fastest in the league with the ball, but the Spurs still managed to get out on the fast break. San Antonio led 25-6 in fast-break points, including 11-0 when leading by 20 at halftime.

TURNING POINT: It was a tie game nearing the six-minute mark of the first quarter when Ginobili came into the game for the first time. He hit all three shots from the floor, including a pair of 3-pointers, hit both foul shots, had an assist and drew a charging foul as the Spurs closed out the opening quarter by outscoring the Pistons 20-7. That's as close as the Pistons would get the rest of the night.

QUOTABLE II: "I thought the last two games we played better basketball. The bar is seriously raised against a team that is 24-3 at home (in San Antonio). If you come out of San Antonio and you lost and you competed your tail off, you're disappointed with the loss. But under these terms it's really disappointing. The heavyweights are heavyweights for a reason."
-- Pistons coach Lawrence Frank

HOT: Ginobili scorched the first half. He was 6-for-6 from the floor and half of those were 3-pointers. He also made both of his free throws.

NOT: Knight had shot 21-for-36 in the past two games for Detroit, but his 3-for-14 showing Sunday sent him the other way.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Duncan had a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds) for the fourth time in the last five games. Duncan passed Buck Williams for 13th in career rebounding with 13,027.

GOOD MOVE: The decision to start Cory Joseph at point with Parker injured looks to be a move with an eye on the long term. Parker could be out for a month (as many as 15 games), so Joseph got a chance to quickly break the ice. It also allowed Ginobili to maintain the substitute rotation by bringing him off the bench.

BAD MOVE: The Pistons had a chance to limit the damage of a bad first quarter when they trailed by nine with the ball in the final seconds. But Brandon Knight was called for an offensive foul when he drove into Ginobili in the lane with 1.8 seconds left. The Pistons brought rookie Khris Middleton off the bench, and he dropped off Ginobili on the long inbounds pass enough to leave him open for a 3-pointer. He got a hand up -- and into -- Ginobili, who sank the 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded and made the foul shot for a 4-point play that gave San Antonio a 32-19 lead after one.

ROOKIE WATCH: Nando De Colo was passed over for the starting point guard job as Popovich opted for a virtual rookie in Joseph (De Colo has appeared in 52 games this season with three starts compared to 41 games and two starts for Joseph in his two seasons). De Colo did not appear until 1 1/2 minutes were left in the third quarter, and he finished the game with three points and two assists in 13 1/2 minutes (Joseph was 3-for-5 in 18 minutes for eight points and four assists with a turnover).

NOTABLE: The 39-point victory margin is the largest of the season for San Antonio. ... Gary Neal (left calf tightness) originally was not scheduled to play for San Antonio. He's missed the last three games, but he came in when the Spurs had a 30-point lead with 8 1/2 minutes left and scored seven points on 3-for-7 shooting. ... Stephen Jackson returned for San Antonio after missing most of the last two games with a right ankle sprain, and he played 26 minutes and had six points, six assists and eight rebounds. ... Boris Diaw (low back strain) missed his second straight game for San Antonio.

UP NEXT: For the Pistons, Wednesday vs. New York, Friday vs. Dallas, Sunday @ L.A. Clippers. For the Spurs, Wednesday vs. Chicago, Friday vs. Portland, Monday vs. Oklahoma City.