SAN ANTONIO, June 12 (Ticker) -- The San Antonio Spurs picked up right where they left off and have the Detroit Pistons picking up the pieces.

With a solid all-around effort again spearheaded by the omnipresent Manu Ginobili, the Spurs sped to a big lead and rolled to a convincing 97-76 victory over the Pistons, taking firm control of the NBA Finals.

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Ginobili, the hero of Game One, missed just two shots while amassing 27 points and seven assists. Tim Duncanadded a metronomic 18 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for the Spurs, who launched an outside assault with 10 3-pointers.

"We know who we are, we know how we play, how good we are," Ginobili said.

"When we're playing on that level and hitting shots like that, we're really tough to beat," Duncan said.

As in Game One, the Spurs fought off a late push by the Pistons, who are living way too dangerously. They trail by two games in a series for the first time under coach Larry Brown, who was hit with a technical foul.

You could excuse recently elected San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger if he began planning a parade route. Only two teams have come back to win the Finals after losing the first two games. It is hard to imagine the Spurs, who have won eight of their last nine games, losing four of their next five.

Having used a big fourth quarter to win the opener, the Spurs did all the things the Pistons were supposed to do. They shared the ball, used solid defense to shut down opposing scorers and played with a sense of urgency.

"I was really pleased with the way they reacted to the win," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It gets more difficult after a win to come back and understand how that subconscious sort of complacency can set in."

"That was beautiful to watch in terms of their execution," admitted Brown.

Setting the tone was Bruce Bowen, who again frustrated Richard Hamilton on defense and emerged as a contributor on offense with four 3-pointers and 15 points.

"It's always fun when shots are going in for you," said Bowen, who has held Hamilton to 33 percent (12-of-36) shooting in the first two games.

"He takes great pride in trying to make somebody on the other team work harder and tonight he combined it with knocking down some threes," Popovich said.

The Pistons had been promising the sort of response that they showed in evening previous series against Indiana and Miami. Instead, they came out squeezing the basketball and succumbed to the pressure of avoiding an ominous 0-2 deficit.

Detroit's championship pedigree was nowhere to be found. The Pistons never led, did not move the ball on offense, repeatedly were beaten to loose balls and again lost their poise with three technicals. In other words, they did not play "the right way."

"We've kind of gotten frustrated and went on our own a little bit too much," Brown said. "I think defensively we've been real soft. We haven't been able to keep people in front of us and that's been a key."

The defending champs are headed home for Games Three, Four and Five - perhaps. They became the first home team to sweep the middle three games last year but should keep in mind that the Spurs have won their last four road contests.

"We've got to take it one quarter at a time," said Pistons guard Chauncey Billups, who started slowly and finished with 13 points. "We can't take it one game at a time. We've got to play quarters now."

"Their crowd is going to push a lot," said Ginobili, who took just eight shots, making six, including four 3-pointers. "But we've been playing really well on the road."

Ginobili and Bowen made 3-pointers in a game-opening 8-0 run, and the Spurs were off to the races. Another 3-pointer by Ginobili made it 28-16 late in the first quarter.

"We moved the ball so well early, and on top of that, we knocked down shots and we really spead the floor," Duncan said.

Saddled with foul trouble, the Pistons got no closer than seven points thereafter. A driving layup by Robert Horry, who scored 12 points pushed the margin to 51-33 before the Spurs settled for a 58-42 halftime advantage.

Bowen's 3-pointer gave San Antonio its largest lead at 69-46 with 5:26 left in the third quarter.

Detroit fought back within 79-63 entering the fourth quarter and closed to 81-73 with 7:14 remaining on a drive by Hamilton, who scored 14 points.

However, the Spurs pushed the Pistons into the penalty and pounced as Ginobili made 6-of-8 free throws in a 13-0 surge that sealed it.

"We were on kind of a run, then it was free throw after free throw, free throw after free throw," said Billups, who also was hit with a technical.