Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 2/14

Game 1: Wednesday, February 14th
Game 2: Friday, March 23rd

Spurs 90

(35-18, 19-10 away)

Pistons 81

(32-19, 17-10 home)

    Coverage: NBATV

    7:30 PM ET, February 14, 2007

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 25 26 19 2090
    DET 19 15 20 2781

    Top Performers

    SA: T. Duncan 23 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

    Det: R. Hamilton 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast

    Duncan, Elson help Spurs end Pistons' win streak

    Associated Press

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The San Antonio Spurs had every excuse to put forth a lackluster performance Wednesday night -- and didn't need to use any of them.

    Best NBA records on Valentine's Day since 1976-77 merger
    (min. 5 games)
    Detroit 14-4 (.778)
    Milwaukee 14-7 (.667)
    Golden State 10-5 (.667)
    Indiana 11-6 (.647)
    Dallas 6-4 (.600)
    Miami 4-2 (.600)

    Tim Duncan scored 23 points and Francisco Elson added 12 points and a career-high 18 rebounds as the road-weary Spurs snapped Detroit's seven-game winning streak with a 90-81 victory.

    "We've been inconsistent all year, so it was nice to see us put together 48 good minutes," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "That's one of our best games all year, and it is the finest game Francisco has played for this team."

    The Spurs were playing the finale of an eight-game road trip and their last game before the All-Star break but looked like the fresher team.

    "It wasn't tough at all to get up for this one," Duncan said after San Antonio's first win in Detroit since Game 5 of the 2005 NBA Finals. "We aren't playing well, and we really needed to put together a good game before the break."

    The Pistons were playing their fifth straight game at home but struggled at both ends of the floor in their first loss of the month.

    "It's always tough to play the last game before the break," Chauncey Billups said. "They came in hungry, because they've been struggling a bit. By the time we started fighting, it was an uphill battle."

    Elias Says
    Francisco Elson
    Francisco Elson grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds for the Spurs to complement Tim Duncan's 23 points. Only two other San Antonio teammates have ever had as many as 18 rebounds alongside Duncan in a regulation game: David Robinson (eight times) and Will Perdue (twice).

    • Read more Elias Says.

    Manu Ginobili added 20 points for the Spurs, while Tony Parker had 16. San Antonio's reserves outscored Detroit's 35-13 as they finished 4-4 on the marathon trip.

    "This is going to make it a lot easier to enjoy the break," Ginobili said. "I would have rather gone 6-2 on the trip, but with the way we've been playing, and that we started 2-4, going 4-4 is pretty good."

    Richard Hamilton led the Pistons with 20 points while Billups scored 19, including 16 in the second half.

    San Antonio led 51-34 after dominating the first half. The Spurs outshot Detroit 56.1 percent to 31.6 percent and outrebounded the Pistons. Elson had eight points and 10 rebounds in the half, while Ginobili scored 12 off the bench.

    "We had mental mistakes all over the place," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "When you do that, all of a sudden they get easy buckets and then every one of your shots becomes a pressure shot."

    Lindsey Hunter kept the game from getting out of hand, going 3-for-3 in the second quarter while his teammates were going 1-for-13. He outscored the rest of the Pistons 8-7 in the period.

    "The shots we missed, we usually make," Hamilton said. "We allowed them to run their offense and dictate the way the game was going to be played."

    Billups, who went 0-for-4 in the first half, scored 10 points in the third, but it didn't help much. Elson had eight more rebounds in the period, and San Antonio took a 70-54 lead into the fourth.

    "Francisco was huge," Duncan said. "He was active on the boards, which we've been lacking, but he also ran the floor and flattened out their defense. He only got a couple layups out of it, but he made them hustle back all night."

    Detroit got as close as 11 early in the period, but the Spurs kept them at bay.

    The Pistons finally got the margin to single digits, 86-77, on Rasheed Wallace's 3-pointer with 2:23 left, but Billups had a 3 go in-and-out with a minute to play and San Antonio clinched the game from the line.

    Game notes

    Tayshaun Prince and Billups went a combined 0-for-9 in the first half. Prince finished 1-for-8. ... Melvin Ely, acquired from Charlotte on Tuesday, wasn't with the Spurs. He is expected to join the team after the All-Star break. ... Elson surpassed his previous season high of nine rebounds during the first half and surpassed his career best of 15 in the third quarter.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 90 81
    FGM-FGA 36-71 (.507) 32-78 (.410)
    3PM-3PA 4-14 (.286) 6-19 (.316)
    FTM-FTA 14-18 (.778) 11-12 (.917)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-45 5-35
    Assists 22 18
    Turnovers 16 10
    Steals 8 7
    Blocks 4 4
    Fast Break Points 13 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 20 2

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 23
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2
    Richard Hamilton Hamilton
    Points: 20
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0