The Detroit Pistons will try to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season when they continue a challenging four-game road trip Monday against the banged-up San Antonio Spurs. After winning three straight, the Pistons have begun the trek with back-to-back losses, including Saturday’s 108-103 setback in Philadelphia.
“We don’t play two halves of games now,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters after his team was unable to overcome a woeful first half that led to a 16-point deficit at intermission. “It’s not going to get it done.” Tobias Harris continued a hot streak in the loss with 27 points and is averaging 23.3 on 60.7 percent shooting over a four-game span for Detroit, which has dropped five straight meetings with the Spurs. San Antonio chose to rest leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge, point guard Tony Parker and reserve forward Rudy Gay in Sunday’s 90-87 loss at Oklahoma City while forward Kyle Anderson went down with a sprained knee. The Spurs have played all season without star swingman Kawhi Leonard, but he is nearing a return from a quadriceps injury.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN Southwest (San Antonio)
ABOUT THE PISTONS (14-8): The road trip also kicked off a string of six straight games against teams with winning records, ending with contests against defending champion Golden State and Eastern Conference-leading Boston. “We know we can play with anybody,” Harris told reporters. “We’ve proven it already. We know when we’re playing our game and we’re at our best, it doesn’t matter who’s up against us.” Detroit hopes for more from shooting guard Avery Bradley, who is 1-for-9 from long range on the trip and has shot under 40 percent overall in four of his last five games.
ABOUT THE SPURS (15-8): Joffrey Lauvergne was given a chance to seize some available minutes in the loss and finished with a season-high 12 points and six rebounds while shrugging aside a dislocated finger. Davis Bertans also took advantage of a rare opportunity to tie his season high with 16 points and Dejounte Murray finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds in a spot start. “I’m really proud of them,” coach Gregg Popovich told reporters when asked about the contributions. “They did a great job tonight. Defense in the second half was very good and a lot of guys participate, and a lot of guys got a lot of minutes, and I thought they did very well.”
1. Anderson is scheduled for an MRI on Monday.
2. Pistons C Andre Drummond, who averages 0.9 assists for his career, has notched at least six in four straight contests.
3. San Antonio is 2-0 in the second half of back-to-back sets played at home.
PREDICTION: Spurs 103, Pistons 101