Tim Duncan had 18 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 33 minutes of action as the San Antonio Spurs overcame a fourth quarter rally from the Detroit Pistons, winning 99-95 on Tuesday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills to extend their NBA-best eighth consecutive victory.
Detroit trailed by 15 points in the fourth quarter but came back to take the lead, 83-82 with 5:28 minutes left, behind some inspiring play from Ben Wallace, the veteran big man who set a record by appearing in his 1,055th career game — the most for an undrafted player since the NBA-ABA merger.
However, the Spurs wouldn’t meltdown down the stretch.
Richard Jefferson made a huge 3-pointer to give the Spurs a 90-89 lead with 2:20 remaining and after that, San Antonio went a “Hack-a-Ben” tactic that paid off.
Tony Parker who scored the Spurs final seven points made a floater with 27.2 seconds left to play to give San Antonio a 95-92 lead, and Ben Gordon couldn’t convert on the ensuing play for the Pistons.
With the Pistons down three, Gordon missed on the perimeter with Duncan contesting, and the Detroit guard was called for a technical foul with 21 seconds remaining.
The Spurs held Greg Monroe to just four points on 2-of-11 shooting from the field.
Wallace finished with nine points and five rebounds, Brandon Knight added 16 points and four assists, while Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 23 points.
San Antonio had seven players in double figures led by Duncan’s 18 points.
Parker scored 14 points, Jefferson had 13 points, Tiago Splitter chipped 13 points and seven rebounds, Matt Bonner and Kawhi Leonard scored 11 points each and DeJuan Blair added 10 points and five rebounds.
Manu Ginobili scored only one point in 25 minutes in his second game since recovering from the injury, but had seven assists, two rebounds and one block shot off the bench.
The Spurs won their fourth straight game of a nine-game rodeo trip and improved their road record to 7-8.
They will try to extend their winning streak to nine games tomorrow night when they visit the Toronto Raptors.