Another game, another blowout win for the Spurs, this time against the shorthanded Detroit Pistons. Even though the Spurs learned before the game they would be without Dejounte Murray, who had to enter Health and Safety Protocols, it was nowhere close to the nine players the Pistons are missing. Still, the Spurs didn’t skip a beat as their offense remained electric and blew out the Pistons 144-109.
Keldon Johnson continued to be red-hot from three, posting 27 points on 10-12 shooting, including a perfect 4-4 from three, to lead five Spurs in double figures. Hamidou Diallo led the Pistons with 28 points, while Saddiq Bey had 23 points, and Luka Garza had 20 before fouling out.
- The Spurs and Pistons weren’t the only ones dealing with COVID issues today. Not long before tip-off, it was announced there would only be two referees, as the third member of the officiating crew also had to enter Health & Safety protocols. They did their best to keep up — with lots and lots of whistles — but the Pistons also got three technicals on the night, two of which were for complaining. Blowout losses can indeed be annoying, but a good rule of thumb is when the officials are already undermanned and overwhelmed, it may not be the best time to bark at them too much.
- After a few lead changes in the opening minutes, the Spurs went on a 15-6 run midway through the first quarter, and the Pistons never really threatened again as the Spurs continued to methodically build the lead throughout. The Spurs won the first quarter 38-30 and outscored the Pistons 81-50 in the middle two quarters to allow the starters to rest for the entire fourth quarter, which is a good thing since the Utah Jazz are visiting tomorrow and this is the start of a FIGASENI.
- Derrick White slid over to point guard while Keita Bates-Diop moved into the starting line-up (and he even hit his first three shots to stay perfect since the start of the Lakers game before missing one in the third). As a result of being the main ball handler, White had a career-high 10 assists but only took three shots on the night since he was perfectly happy to just be the unselfish facilitator as the Spurs offense continued to hum. In fact, he became just the fourth Spur ever to record nine assists in one half.
- Jock Landale continues to be “the answer” at backup center. He scored a career-high 18 points on 7-9 shooting along with 5 rebounds and three assists. He just looks like he belongs out there and doesn’t appear lost in the chaotic offensive pace of the Spurs’ bench. And as teams begin to scout his three-point shooting more, that will just open the lane up for his teammates. It’s great to have a stretch center.
- With Murray out, Tre Jones got 21 minutes at backup point guard, and he did a fine job with an efficient 8 points on six shots, plus 11 assists to just one turnover. Once he adds an outside shot to his arsenal, he will be a tough matchup for any opposing bench unit.
- Of course, the blowout win also meant plenty of Primo Time. Josh Primo got his usual standing ovation when he entered, and he rewarded the crowd with a career-high 9 points (all on threes). Two-way players Joe Weiskamp and Devontae Cacok each added a bucket as well, and everyone who played scored.
- Over the course of their now three-game winning streak, the Spurs have outscored their opponents by a total of 87 points (+24 against the Clippers, +28 against the Lakers, and + 35 tonight). That’s 29 points per game! This will push the Spurs even further into the territory of being a green anomaly in DIFF column of the stands among a sea of red — although they’re inching closer to having a winning record, now just four games behind .500 at 14-18.
For the Pistons fans’ perspective, visit Detroit Bad Boys.
The Spurs will be back in the AT&T Center tomorrow to face a revenge-minded Utah Jazz team. Tipoff will be at 7:30 PM CT on Bally Sports SW-SA.