SAN ANTONIO (AP) – The Spurs fought through another injury and the second game of a back-to-back to beat the Detroit Pistons and earn some rare praise from coach Gregg Popovich.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 10 rebounds and San Antonio rallied to beat Detroit 96-93 on Monday night.
“I thought the guys in a tough back-to-back did a heck of a job to hang in there, keep playing and trusting each other,” Popovich said. “We made some great plays down the stretch from a lot of people. A lot of people participated.
“It was a good, physical game. I’m just really pleased with their effort. I thought they did a wonderful job.”
Reggie Jackson had 27 points for Detroit, which led by as many as nine points before dropping its third straight. Jackson was held to seven points in the second half on three-for-10 shooting as San Antonio clamped down defensively to win after falling to Oklahoma City on Sunday.
The Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Anderson, who has started in place of Leonard all season. Anderson will miss two to three weeks after spraining his left knee against the Thunder.
Rudy Gay, making his first start in place of Anderson, had 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. His final points came on a three-point play that gave San Antonio an 88-86 lead with 3:39 remaining.
Detroit trailed 94-93 when Gay failed to hit the rim on a three-point attempt as the shot clock expired with 5.2 seconds remaining, but the Pistons’ Tobias Harris committed a foul prior to the violation. Aldridge made two free throws to give the Spurs a 96-93 lead.
Gay blocked Harris’ three-point attempt at the buzzer to preserve the victory.