Spurs run away from Detroit in win

Wed Mar 2, 2016 11:41pm EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - The San Antonio Spurs continue to set one milestone after another during this record-breaking season but insist they aren't paying any attention while keeping their collective eyes on the ultimate prize, another NBA title.

Kawhi Leonard poured in 27 points as the San Antonio Spurs shrugged off a ragged first half and ran away from the Detroit Pistons 97-81 on Wednesday, winning their sixth straight game and remaining unbeaten at home this season.

San Antonio (51-9) improved to 29-0 at the AT&T Center this season, extending its record for the best home start by a Western Conference team. It was the Spurs' first game at home since Feb. 6 because of their annual Rodeo Road Trip and it took them a while to find their stride.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points and pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds for the Spurs as four of their starters scored in double figures. Tim Duncan hit for 12 points and gathered eight rebounds in 20 minutes of court time and Tony Parker scored 10 points for San Antonio.

The Spurs, up by one point at halftime, turned up their defense in the third quarter as Detroit shot just 22 percent from the floor and trailed by as many as 17 points. Aldridge scored 13 points in the period.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was pleased with his team's effort on defense after halftime.

"It was very good," Popovich remarked in his succinct manner. "We allowed 30 points in the second half. It's pretty special if you can do that. We played a better second half for sure."

San Antonio clinched its 19th straight playoff appearance, tying the Boston Celtics (1951-69) for the fourth-longest streak in NBA history. It's the fewest games needed to clinch a post-season spot in franchise history, excluding strike-shortened seasons.

Aldridge claimed he was not aware that the team clinched a playoff spot.   Continued...

Mar 2, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dunks the ball against the Detroit Pistons during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports