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San Antonio vs. Detroit, Final Score: Spurs squeak by Pistons, 96-93

It was a game of runs, and the Spurs had the final one.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

After a close loss to the Thunder 24 hours earlier, the Spurs kicked off a three-game homestand against a vastly improved Detroit Pistons team that had clearly read the scouting report. Specifically, they knew to deny LaMarcus Aldridge the ball and make everyone else beat them.

On the other hand, the Spurs apparently did not read their scouting report and gave the smaller Pistons too much respect in the paint for much of the game, settling for too many jump shots instead of attacking the paint.

Reggie Jackson tortured the Spurs to the tune of 20 points the in first half (and 27 total), and throughout the first three quarters Detroit often got out to eight or nine-point leads. However, it was a game of runs, and the Spurs always got right back in it thanks to timely three-point shooting from the bench, particuarly Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, and Davis Bertans.

In all the Spurs hit 14 threes to offset 17 turnovers and an overall poor shooting night, and the Good Guys had the final run to eke out a 96-93 win over the Bad Boys. The Spurs had seven players score in double figures, and Aldridge, Pau Gasol and Rudy Gay all had double-doubles.

Unfortunately, it was too close of a game for Stan Van Gundy to put in Boban Marjanovic, and for the second year in a row Spurs fans were denied a chance to see their favorite Serbian giant just one more time.

Random Thoughts

  • I still hate Van Gundy for stealing Boban, and even worse he barely plays. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: behind Zaza Pachulia, SVG is Public Enemy No. 2 in my book.
  • In the second quarter Bryn Forbes took a shot after the whistle, and Stanley Johnson went out of his way to block it. Whatever happened to the double delay-of-game call that we saw in OKC?
  • Speaking of random calls, Ginobili had a made FT taken away because of an offensive lane violation. Again, that’s something that happens on both sides every game, probably on over 60% of FT attempts, and it’s never called. Is the league telling officials to crack down on rarely-enforced rules every now and then just to remind the world that they exist?
  • Andre Drummond’s new free throw stroke is awkward but apparently effective for him. He wasn’t good tonight but has improved from a career 38% shooter to 65% this season. No matter how awkward he looks, you have to credit him for doing what it takes to fix his shot, something that can’t be said for Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan.
  • Looks like Aldridge was missing his industrial strength Tide from the picnic. He had to change jerseys in the third quarter thanks to some blood that no amount of spray cleaner would get out.

For the Pistons fan’s perspective, visit Detroit Bad Boys.

The Spurs return to the court on Wednesday to take on the Miami Heat. Tip-off will be at 7:30 PM CT.