LOS ANGELES (dpa) – Cold-shooting Brandon Jennings was off the mark all game long, but stayed with
it and kept the Detroit Pistons red-hot.
Jennings sped down-court and kissed a runner off the glass with one-tenth of a second left Tuesday, lifting the revitalized Pistons to a dramatic 105-104 road victory over the San Antonio Spurs for their season-high sixth straight victory.
“I was struggling all night,” said Jennings, who finished with 13 points on an icy 5-of-18 shooting. “But I said, if I get the ball in my hands for the last-second shot, I’m going to the rack with it.”
Trailing by as many as 18 in the first quarter, the Pistons chipped the lead down to 104-103 on a pair of Jodie Meeks free throws with eight seconds remaining.
Following a 20-second timeout, Spurs Tim Duncan threw an inbound- pass behind Patty Mills that Jennings picked up.
Instead of calling a timeout, the speedy guard raced down the left side for the game-winning drive over the outstretched arms of two defenders, and the Pistons had their first win in San Antonio since December 2, 2008.
“That’s one that you know you had zero to do with,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We did say if we get a rebound or steal we wanted to run the ball.
“I felt like you have a better chance and Brandon made a great play. We got a break, we got lucky at the end.”
Andre Drummond had 20 points with 17 rebounds, DJ Augustin netted a season-high 19 off the bench, while Greg Monroe contributed 17 and 11 boards for Detroit (11-23) which has its longest winning streak since December 23, 2008.
“We kept fighting to the end,” Drummond said. “It starts with everybody. We look at each other in the eye man-to-man.
“We’re a great basketball club and we’re tired of losing. We’re trying to turn this around and make this a winning program again.”
Jeff Ayres topped the reigning NBA Champ Spurs (21-15) with a season-high 16 points and Tim Duncan added 15. All-Star guard Tony Parker scored just three points in 13 first-half minutes after missing five games because of left hamstring strain.
“Of all the losses this year and last year it seems that it’s the little minor mistakes here and there,” Spurs forward Danny Green said after a 13-point effort.
Meanwhile, Markieff Morris had 26 points with 10 rebounds, Isaiah Thomas netted 19 and the visiting Phoenix Suns bounced the Milwaukee Bucks 102-96 for their third straight win in the opener of a four-game road trip.
Slovenian Goran Dragic scored 16 while Eric Bledsoe contributed 10 with as many assists for Phoenix (21-6), which has taken nine of its last 11 decisions.
Brandon Knight scored 26 and “Greek Geek” Giannis Antetokounmpo added 16 in Milwaukee’s (18-18) fourth straight home loss.