AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 20 (Ticker) -- The San Antonio Spurs showed the Detroit Pistons they are more than Tim Duncan. But they sure could have used him down the stretch.

After losing Duncan to a severely sprained ankle, the Spurs battled with their bench but came up short in a 110-101 loss to the Pistons, who have won 12 straight home games and five straight overall.

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Chauncey Billups scored 25 points and Tayshaun Prince added 22 for the Pistons (42-23), who gained a split of the season series that could be a possible NBA Finals preview.

"Maybe we'll see them in June," Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace said. "It was nothing extra special. It was just a little get-back from when we played them earlier in the season when we didn't have our stuff right."

However, the game lost lots of its luster when Duncan, considered by many the best player in the NBA, crumpled to the floor after twisting his right ankle less than two minutes into the contest.

The two-time MVP had to be helped off the floor and into the locker room. Although X-rays were negative, Duncan left the arena on crutches and returned to San Antonio, where he will be further examined. He is expected to miss at least the last two games of San Antonio's three-game trip.

"It's the same ankle that he sprained a couple weeks ago, but this was much worse," said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, who scoffed at the idea that Duncan is day-to-day. "It's going to be a while."

Pistons owner Bill Davidson offered one of his private planes to the Spurs so Duncan could fly back to Texas immediately.

"That's the kind of camaraderie that makes the NBA feel like a family," Popovich said. "There's the competition, and we all want to beat each other, but no one wants to see something like that happen. We were very impressed by the gesture, and we appreciate it very much. I'm sure Timmy does as well."

Without Duncan, the Spurs (50-16) got their offense by committee as six players scored between 12 and 18 points. In the fourth quarter, they made a charge with a lineup of five reserves led by guards Devin Brown and rookie Beno Udrih.

"They have played this (unit) a lot this year, and they have the second-best record in the league," Pistons assistant coach Gar Heard said. "Duncan has missed games before, and it has not hurt them too much. I think teams have a tendency to let down a little when Tim is not on the court, and I think maybe we did that initially. We picked it up late in the second half, and then again in the fourth quarter."

A 3-pointer by veteran reserve Robert Horry cut the deficit to 99-97 with 3:26 to go. The Spurs had a chance to tie, but Rasho Nesterovic committed a turnover, then fouled Billups as he made a layup. The ensuing free throw made it 102-97 with 2:21 left.

"Every time we got close, they'd hit a basket and one, or we would miss a wide-open shot or turn the ball over," said Spurs guard Tony Parker, who scored 12 points but sat and watched most of the fourth quarter. "We kept getting close, but we could never do it."

Udrih and Brown missed open jumpers before Billups scored inside with 58 seconds to play. Udrih missed a 3-pointer and Billups and Prince each sank a pair of free throws to seal it.

Wallace scored 16 points for the Pistons, who also had six players in double figures. Detroit's home winning streak is its longest since a 12-game run in the 1990-91 season, when it also was the defending NBA champion.

"We've got a nice little streak going at home, feeding off the crowd," said Ben Wallace, who had eight points, nine rebounds and four blocks. "As long we continue to play with a lot of energy and effort, we'll be all right."

Brown scored 18 points and Udrih added 15 for the Spurs, who welcomed back All-Star guard Manu Ginobili but had a three-game winning streak snapped. Ginobili, who missed the last five games with a groin strain, scored 14 points in just 16 minutes.

San Antonio had been 69-2 when scoring at least 100 points until earlier this month. It is 1-2 since, with both losses coming without Duncan.

"We've played without him before, and we just have to keep going," Parker said. "It's not like we have a choice. Our other big guys will have to do more and the rest of us will have to step up."