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Spurs light up Pistons with 61 percent shooting

1/26/2003

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The keys to the Detroit Pistons' success this season have been defense, rebounding and 3-point shooting. They didn't do any of those things well against the San Antonio Spurs.

San Antonio shot a season-best 61.1 percent from the floor
Saturday night and led the entire way in a 108-76 rout of the
Pistons, who came in boasting the NBA's stingiest defense.

Tim Duncan scored 22 points on 10-for-18 shooting and Stephen Jackson added 20 for San Antonio, which led by 16 after one quarter and by as many as 36.

"We knew we had to come out and play aggressive, and we definitely did that,'' said Bruce Bowen, who scored 10 points.

Detroit has held opponents to 86 points per game, but San
Antonio surpassed that total in the third quarter.

On the defensive end, the Spurs held the Pistons to 40.3 percent
shooting. Detroit scored only 14 points in the first period and 17
in the third.

"We really got into a rhythm early,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Everyone was making plays.''

Malik Rose, starting in place of the injured David Robinson, scored 18 points for the Spurs. Tony Parker had 16 points and nine assists.

The Spurs said Robinson will not travel to Minnesota for Monday
night's game, but he could rejoin the team during its four-game
road trip.

Duncan grabbed 11 rebounds, while Detroit's Ben Wallace -- leading the league with 15 boards per game -- had only five.

San Antonio outrebounded Detroit 41-26 and made six of 12
3-point attempts. The Pistons, fourth in the league in 3-point
shooting at 37 percent, made only two of their 17 attempts from
behind the arc.

Richard Hamilton paced the Pistons with 17 points. Corliss
Williamson scored 15 and Jon Barry 12.

San Antonio established its inside scoring from the start,
building a double-digit lead midway through the opening period.

"They made the extra pass when they were going down ... and
they hit their shots,'' said the 6-foot-9 Wallace, who struggled to
defend Duncan, a 7-footer. "We know what happened out there.
There's no need to dwell on it.''

The Spurs made eight of their first 11 shots while clamping down on the Pistons on the defensive end to go up 19-8. Duncan scored 11 points in the quarter on 5-for-9 shooting, while Detroit managed only 6-for-15 from the floor.

San Antonio got its lead up to 21 at 9:00 of the second quarter
on a three-point play by Emanuel Ginobili. A few minutes later, the
Pistons, who made only three of their first 12 shots in the
quarter, trailed 47-20.

Hamilton made jumpers on four consecutive possessions, but
Jackson neutralized the run with three straight jumpers for the
Spurs. Detroit cut San Antonio's lead to 57-37 at the break on a
putback dunk by Wallace with eight seconds left.

Game notes
Detroit's last win in San Antonio came in April 1997. ...
San Antonio will play its next nine games on the road beginning
Monday at Minnesota. The Spurs don't return to the SBC Center until
Feb. 18 against Denver. ... San Antonio's Kevin Willis has played
in 1,306 NBA games, one short of Buck Williams for sixth on the
career list. Robert Parish has the record at 1,611. ... The Pistons
are 9-5 against Western Conference opponents, while San Antonio is
10-5 against Eastern Conference foes.