The San Antonio Spurs clinched their seventh straight trip to the playoffs on Thursday.
Now, they’ll look to improve their postseason position as they host the Phoenix Suns.
The Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons 84-75 Thursday for their third win in four games. Manu Ginobili scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half for San Antonio, which has not missed the playoffs since the 1995-96 season—one year before they drafted Tim Duncan.
“We have 10 more games, and of course we want to win the division and be in the best position,” said Ginobili.
The Spurs are in fourth place in the Western Conference, four games behind first-place Sacramento. San Antonio, which held Detroit to only six baskets in the fourth quarter Thursday, trails Minnesota by 1 1/2 games in the Midwest Division.
“It’s great for us to play those kinds of games,” said Duncan, who had 12 points and 13 rebounds in the physical matchup. “Detroit has a great opportunity to make it to the finals this year in the Eastern Conference. Hopefully we’ll be able to see them in the finals.”
Tony Parker, who is averaging 17.4 points and 7.4 assists over his last five games, added 16 points against the Pistons, including 10 in the second half.
The Suns are coming off Friday’s 99-94 win over the New Orleans Hornets— their third victory in four games.
Amare Stoudamire scored 25 points, and Shawn Marion had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix, which was eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the week.