SAN ANTONIO -- Manu Ginobili had 17 points and Tim Duncan added 16 as the Spurs blitzed the Detroit Pistons with an impressive passing exhibition to win 114-75 at the AT&T Center Sunday night.
This was the Spurs' first game without Tony Parker, whose play this season has been sparking MVP talk. Instead of trying to fill his void with one player, the Spurs decided instead to share the wealth, and they finished with 35 assists. They had 41 in their 130-102 win over the Kings Friday.
This season, San Antonio (47-14) leads the NBA in assists (25.2).
Ginobili did all of his damage in the first half. He hit his first six shots, including 3 3-pointers. One of his 3-pointers came at the first quarter buzzer as he was fouled by Khris Middleton. He hit the free throw for the rare 4-point play.
Parker, whose play this season had some mentioning him as an MVP candidate, suffered a Grade 2 left ankle sprain against the Kings and will miss about a month. That doesn't bode well for the title-seeking Spurs, who still have the NBA's best record.
But the loses will have to wait for another night. Cory Joseph, who spends most of his time with the D-League Austin Toros, started in Parker's place and scored 8 points and added four assists.
Greg Monroe led Detroit (23-39) with 16 points and eight rebounds and Brandon Knight surpassed 500 career assists with his fourth assist on the night. He finished with six and added eight points.
The victory was a bit of revenge for the Spurs, who lost to Detroit Feb. 8. It was one of two loses for the Spurs on their Rodeo Road trip.
The first meeting didn't include Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
NOTES: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was more terse than usual in his pregame chat. After two brief questions, a reporter asked, "What kind of challenge --" but Popovich cut him off and said "It'll be a challenge without Tony (Parker)." The reporter backed-tracked and said "I was going to ask what kind of challenge Greg Monroe presents." Popovich responded, "Mary Kane (or Cain?). Keep your eye on Mary Kane." Was Popovich referring to Mary Kane, a Maryland attorney and politician? Or maybe Many Cain, a record-setting prep runner from New York? After a brief pause and no follow-up questions, Popovich quickly shuffled away to keep the media wondering. ... This is a rematch of the 2005 NBA Finals. The Spurs edged the Pistons in seven games. ... Monroe had 26 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Pistons upset of the Spurs Feb. 8. ... Andre Drummond (vertebra fracture in spine) missed his 12th game for Detroit. ... Detroit ranks third in the NBA in points in the paint with 46.3.