Notebook: Spurs @ Pistons: 2/8/11
By Dana Gauruder, for NBA.com
Posted Tuesday February 8, 2011 11:15PM
THE FACTS: Guard Tony Parker had 19 points and center DeJuan Blair supplied 18 points and 12 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs pulled away to a 100-89 victory over the Detroit Pistons Tuesday night at The Palace. The Spurs won for the 14th time in 16 games while improving to 3-1 during their annual February Rodeo Road Trip.
QUOTABLE: "There's still some teams playing better than we are. We're not the best team in the league. Just because we have the best record doesn't mean we have the best team. To be the best team, we have to get better defensively."
- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich after his club pushed its record to 43-8.
THE STAT: 6-for-9. The Spurs came into the game as the league's second-best 3-point shooting team at 39.2 percent. With their best 3-point shooter, reserve center Matt Bonner, returning after a 10-game absence because of a sore knee, they were lethal from long range in the fourth quarter. They made 6 of 9 attempts and 10 for 18 for the game. Bonner and Manu Ginobili made two apiece during the late barrage.
TURNING POINT: Detroit reserve guard Will Bynum scored eight points in the first 5:23 of the fourth to slice San Antonio's lead to two, 80-78. Within two minutes, the Spurs' lead was up to 9 as Ginobili made two shots from long range and assisted on a Bonner 3 from the right corner.
QUOTABLE II: "We had good shots. We were moving the ball very well. Everybody was being aggressive. We had open shots and everybody was making them."
- Spurs guard Tony Parker after his team shot 52.9 percent for the game.
HOT: Bonner surprised Popovich with his 10-point outing in 13 minutes. He scored all but two of his points in the fourth. "Matty came in firing," Popovich said. "That's his job."
NOT: Detroit's starting guard tandem of Ben Gordon and Tracy McGrady scored a combined 15 points on 7 of 23 shooting. Neither played in the fourth but Rodney Stuckey wasn't any better, missing all of his four shot attempts in the quarter, including three layups.
FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Blair posted his fourth 12-rebound outing in the last five games. Blair has seven double-doubles since Jan. 1.
INSIDE THE ARENA: The Pistons, who have been up for sale for more than a year, might finally be changing ownership soon. The frontrunner to buy the franchise, businessman Tom Gores, was in attendance for the first time this season. He watched the game from a suite with current owner Karen Davidson. Gores has been in serious talks to purchase the team for the past month.
ROOKIE WATCH: Pistons forward/center Greg Monroe notched his team-best seventh double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. However, Monroe struggled to contain Blair.
NOTABLE: Pistons guard Richard Hamilton missed the game with a sore groin. Hamilton played for the first time in 14 games Saturday after his controversial benching and scored 15 points against Milwaukee. ... Stuckey had 10 points after missing the previous five games with a right shoulder contusion. ... Bynum equaled his season high with 21 points. ... The Pistons go from first to worst Wednesday, facing the Cleveland Cavaliers after playing the NBA-leading Spurs. The Cavs are attempting to snap an NBA-record 25-game losing streak.
UP NEXT: For the Spurs, Wednesday @ Toronto, Friday @ Philadelphia, Saturday @ Washington. For the Pistons, Wednesday @ Cleveland, Friday vs. Miami, Sunday vs. Portland.