SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tim Duncan insists the San Antonio Spurs are still trying to find their way on offense without All-Star point guard Tony Parker.
They sure looked smooth Sunday night.
San Antonio had one of its most efficient games this season, routing the Detroit Pistons 114-75 in its first game since Parker was injured.
Manu Ginobili scored 17 points, Duncan had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and the Spurs rolled to their most lopsided victory of the year. Danny Green added 16 points and Kawhi Leonard had 14 for San Antonio (47-14), which has won eight of 10.
Making his first start of the season, Cory Joseph had eight points, four assists and one turnover in place of Parker, who sprained his left ankle in Friday’s win over Sacramento and is expected to miss about a month.
Without Parker, the Spurs spread the floor and shared the ball, picking up 35 assists on 45 field goals. Duncan and Stephen Jackson both tied their season highs with six assists apiece.
“We moved the ball really well,” Duncan said. “We have to with the lack of Tony’s penetration, the way he does almost every play. We’re going to move the ball and use a lot of pick-and-rolls. We’re going to use a lot of body movement. Hopefully we can take advantage of that and make some shots and make some passes that make easy baskets for us, because we’re going to need it.”
Greg Monroe scored 16 points and Jose Calderon 14 for Detroit, which has lost five of six.
The Spurs had 10 assists in the first quarter while taking control of the game. San Antonio was credited with four assists on its first five baskets, including one for Leonard on a 3-pointer by Green for a 12-10 lead with 6 minutes left in the period.
Ginobili made his first six shots, including a 3-pointer off Jackson’s inbounds pass with 1.8 seconds left in the quarter. He was undercut by Khris Middleton on the shot and made a free throw to complete a four-point play.
“You know what’s coming, but we couldn’t stop it,” Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said. “We could’ve done a whole lot more to put more into the game to give ourselves a chance, but we didn’t and that’s credit to the champs. That’s what it looks like. That’s the blueprint.”
After scoring 65 points in the first half of a 119-109 victory over the Spurs on Feb. 8 at Detroit, the Pistons trailed 60-40 in the rematch.
“Three weeks ago doesn’t matter today,” Detroit guard Will Bynum said. “It’s a whole different ballgame, a different story. Today, they were the better team.”
Duncan’s 17-foot jumper on an assist from Joseph gave San Antonio a 53-33 lead with 3 minutes left in the first half. Joseph, recalled Thursday from San Antonio’s development league affiliate, the Austin Toros, did not have a turnover in the second half.
“I thought he did a fine job,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He played a good floor game. I like his defense. I like his aggressive attitude, as far as loose balls and sticking his nose in. He’s a really committed, physical player and runs the show well.”
The Spurs never led by fewer than 20 points in the second half, extending the advantage into the 30s late in the third quarter.
San Antonio held Detroit to 32.6 shooting, a season low for an opponent.
“I thought we played defense the way we have played it most of the season,” Popovich said. “We had good focus.”
NOTES: Duncan passed Buck Williams for 13th on the NBA career rebounding list, raising his total to 13,027. … Parker has missed four games this season after sitting out six during last season’s lockout-shortened season. … Spurs F Boris Diaw (lower back strain) missed his second game of the season. … Tiago Splitter is the only player to appear in every game for the Spurs this season. … Detroit big man Andre Drummond (back) missed his 12th game. … With his 15 assists against Sacramento on Friday, Ginobili became one of five active players to have 45 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists in a game during his career. The others are the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. … The Spurs have started 13 players this season, the most of any team. … Green gave a series of imaginary high-fives and patted himself on the back when it was announced that he was the favorite player of the honorary ball boy.
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