|Tim Duncan, who scored 18 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, prepares to shoot over the Pistons' Rasheed Wallace during the first quarter last night. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)|
Spurs keep Pistons on the skids
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Michael Curry was quite happy with the way his team defended Tim Duncan last night.
That's why the rookie Detroit Pistons coach was so impressed that Duncan finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds in the San Antonio Spurs' 83-79 victory.
"It says a lot about Tim Duncan that we can say he didn't have a great game when he had 18 and 18," Curry said. "People aren't going to fully appreciate what a great player they're watching until he retires. He just goes out there and does that game after game."
Duncan had 7 points and eight rebounds in the fourth quarter, helping the Spurs break a three-game road losing streak.
"Tim is the base to everything we do," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "He rebounded and he got some buckets, and that's what we needed."
Tony Parker added 19 points and 11 assists for the Spurs, who are 4-3 on an eight-game road trip.
"This was tough, but we'll take it, because we needed a win," Parker said. "We've lost a couple games that we could have won, so this gives us some confidence to try to finish this in Washington."
The Pistons dropped to 2-10 at home in the last six weeks, and face a road trip that includes games at Boston, Cleveland, New Orleans, and Orlando.
"We lost again," point guard Rodney Stuckey said. "I don't know. I really can't explain anything anymore. We just keep losing, and now we've got some great teams to play."
Allen Iverson led all scorers with 31 points, and Antonio McDyess added 13 points and 13 rebounds. McDyess recorded his 1,000th career block in the fourth quarter.
San Antonio led, 64-58, going into the fourth, and although the Pistons got as close as 3, George Hill's fast-break dunk made it 73-66 with 6:35 left.
Detroit rallied again, and Iverson's jumper pulled the Pistons within 78-77 with three minutes to play. Two stops gave the Pistons a pair of chances to take the lead, and Iverson took advantage of the second with a layup with 1:21 to go.
Rasheed Wallace fouled Parker, who gave San Antonio an 80-79 lead, and Iverson missed at the other end. McDyess hurdled the Spurs' bench to save the rebound, but Michael Finley grabbed the loose ball.