Courtesy of Alyssa Gonzales / The Paisano
Two nights after Tony Parker went down with a grade 2-ankle sprain, the San Antonio Spurs steam-rolled over the Detroit Pistons 114 – 75. How were the Spurs able to win without Parker, who is average 21 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds per game? Spreading the court, passing to the open shooters. playing tough defense and most importantly – focusing.
“Tonight, I thought that we played defense the way we have played it most of the season. We had good focus,” said Head Coach Gregg Popovich. “I thought we lost our focus for a while for about a week-and-a-half when Timmy and Manu were out and coming back into the flow.”
In place of an injured Parker, Cory Joseph scored eight points, dished out four assists and had only 1 turnover.
“I thought he did a fine job. He played a good floor game. I like his defense,” said Popovich of his young point guard. “He’s gotten his opportunity and he seems to be taking advantage of it.”
Manu Ginobili scored 17 points while Tim Duncan scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Also, the Spurs recorded 35 team assists and Stephen Jackson and Duncan both had 6 assists piece, season highs for both players.
“We moved the ball really well. We have to with the lack of Tony’s (Parker) penetration, the way he does almost every play,” said Duncan. “We’re going to move the ball and use a lot of pick-and-rolls.”
The Spurs not only performed well on the offensive end, but they played well on the defensive end as well, something the Silver and Black are known for.
Three weeks ago, the Pistons scored 65 points in the first half en route to a 119 – 109 victory over the Spurs.
“Three weeks ago doesn’t really matter today,” said Pistons’ guard Will Bynum. “It’s a whole different ballgame, a different story. Today they were the better team.”
The better team indeed. The Spurs held the Pistons to an opponent low, 32.6 percent from the field, this season and forced 19 turnovers.
“It’s not surprising. I mean, San Antonio is a great team. They were the better team tonight,” said Bynum.
On March. 6, the San Antonio Spurs will put their 2-game winning streak on the line against the defensive minded Chicago Bulls. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the AT&T Center.