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Home Skid Over As Spurs Beat Pistons

After a week of frustration and embarrassment, the San Antonio Spurs finally got back to their winning ways at home.

Pau Gasol scored a season high 21 points, and Kawhi Leonard hit a big three pointer late to seal the deal as the Spurs ended a rare three game home losing streak by beating the Detroit Pistons 96-86 Friday night.

The win was long overdue for San Antonio(6-3), who after tying an NBA record with a 40-1 home mark last year began this season 1-3 at the AT&T Center; one of those losses coming to the Utah Jazz, who had won just twice in their previous 37 trips to San Antonio. Friday night they came out aggressive, led by Pau Gasol, who had been off to a slow start this season. The 16 year veteran helped the Spurs get out to an 18-11 lead in the first quarter; a huge boost for San Antonio after playing poorly in the first quarter in their last three home games.
”(San Antonio was) definitely much more aggressive from the beginning,” Gasol said. ”Established a good pace and we needed to as a team collectively to get off a good start because we haven’t done that lately at home.”

However the Pistons didn’t lay down at the early deficit and roared back to take as large as a six point lead in the second quarter. Detroit center Andre Drummond was a big part of that, slamming down a dunk late in the second quarter to help Detroit take a 52-49 lead into the half. Drummond, who finished the night with 20 points, even hit a three pointer in the third quarter to give the Pistons a 57-54 lead. From there, the Spurs had had enough of the adversity in their arena and finally took over. They took the lead after back to back three pointers, and ended the third quarter on a 10-2 run; capped by a three pointer from Manu Ginobili while he was tip toeing along the sidelines.

When Patty Mills hit a three to put the Spurs up 81-69, the AT&T Center was rocking and it seemed like the Spurs were finally going to coast from there. It was at that point their largest lead, and that lead would increase to 89-76 with under five and a half minutes to play. Welcome to the Spurs-Pistons rivalry: where games are never over until the clock reads triple zero. The Pistons would score the next eight points to cut the Spurs lead to 89-84, turning what was once excitement in the AT&T Center into fear of a late game collapse and giving Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy reason to believe Detroit played their best game of the season. “I told them afterward that I’m not upset at anybody,” Van Gundy said. “I thought we played the game well. As a matter of fact, in terms of both defense and ball movement, putting both ends of the floor together, that’s one of our best games of the year. I’m not one to blow smoke and to look for positives when they’re not there, that’s for sure. Most of the time I can’t find them when they are there.” Detroit’s chances of their first win over the Spurs since January 6th, 2015 disappeared after Kawhi Leonard hit a back breaking three to put San Antonio up 92-84, thus finally ending the Spurs three game home losing streak and moving the team to 6-3 and first place in the southwest division.

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