Published: Mon, January 01, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Short-handed Pistons hold Spurs to 79 in victory

Short-handed Pistons hold Spurs to 79 in victory

Tobias Harris #34 and Luke Kennard #5 of the Detroit Pistons defends against Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs in the second half of National Basketball Association game at Little Caesars Arena on December 30, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The game can be seen on Fox Sports - Detroit at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 30, 2017. They made 39 trips to the line, while NY went just 22 times.

ABOUT THE SPURS (25-11): The frontcourt combination of Aldridge and Pau Gasol is operating in high gear of late, and Gasol filled up the box score with 17 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in Thursday's win.

The Detroit Pistons are playing down to the level of their competition of late, and that strategy backfired on them Thursday night. One of Orlando's largest advantages was their ability to convert at the free throw line. Kennard's outside shooting gave Detroit a lift on a night when neither team was impressive offensively, and Bullock was sharp throughout in just his 12th start of the season.

Ish Smith, who is starting at point guard for the injured Jackson, totaled 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Reggie Bullock hit five of seven shots and added 13 points. It's at Madison Square Garden, and a continuation of the team's multi-game road trip. With the loss, Detroit fell to 19-15 overall and 8-10 on the road.

Jackson was back at Little Caesars Arena, in the first home game since he suffered the grade-3 ankle sprain in the win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.

This is the second game of the season between these two teams.

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Andre Drummond supplied 14 points, 21 rebounds and six assists for the Pistons (20-15).

LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Bryn Forbes tossed in 10 points for San Antonio, which scored a season low in points. The game finished with a total of 189 points, which was 11 points below the projected point total of 200 points. He has averaged 14.3 points, 13.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals in those nine games but shot only 38.3 percent from the foul line. Detroit, meanwhile, had a much better turnover percentage (9.5 vs. 15.5).

Detroit is 8-7-1 ATS at home with 8 overs and 8 unders. The Spurs, meanwhile, lead the league in scoring defense at 98.2 points allowed per game. The Spurs starting small forward has averaged 12.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in five games while playing just under 19 minutes per contest, shooting 49.1 percent. He is shooting 41.2 percent from three-point range, so the stroke is there, but Kennard must have the confidence to take that shot to help Detroit re-balance their offense without Jackson and Bradley.

Detroit led 24-13 after the first, which equaled San Antonio's lowest-scoring quarter of the season.

Detroit are 11-3-1 versus the number in their last 15 games against Western Conference foes and own a 10-4 record against the spread in their last 14 versus teams with winning records.

Detroit is 1-4 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders over their last five games. The 37-year-old recorded a double-double in each of the last three games, starting with a triple-double in last Saturday's 108-99 win at Sacramento. In eight games, he's averaging 11.6 points, shooting 59 percent from the field and 47 percent on 3-pointers, in about 29 minutes per game.

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