SAN ANTONIO -- The Spurs won't be able to replace their fallen star, but they've got enough weapons and unselfish players willing to do what's necessary to keep up their winning ways.
Manu Ginobili had 17 points, all in the first half, and Tim Duncan added 16 as the Spurs blitzed the Detroit Pistons with another impressive passing exhibition to win 114-75 at the AT&T Center Sunday night.
This was the Spurs' first game without all-star 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 on their 45 field goals. They had 41 in their 130-102 win over the Kings Friday.
The Spurs are now 4-1 this season without Parker, who averages 21 points and 7.6 assists per game.
"We're going to have to replace him with teamwork," Ginobili said. "I think I'm going to have to make more decisions with the ball and be more active. Tony was part of 70 or 80 percent of our possessions. I'll have more possibilities in that regard."
This season, San Antonio (47-14) leads the NBA in assists (25.2).
Before the game, Detroit coach Lawrence Frank lauded the Spurs' system that he has monitored since he was an advance scout in Duncan's early days. Their system, he said doesn't change. He kept the compliments coming after the game.
"You know what's coming, but we couldn't stop it," he said. "We could have done a whole lot more to put more into the game to give ourselves a chance, but we didn't and that's a credit to the champs. That's what it looks like. That's the blueprint."
Ginobili did all of his damage early. 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.
Greg Monroe led Detroit (23-39) with 16 points and eight rebounds. Brandon Knight surpassed 500 career assists with his fourth assist on the night, and he finished with six and added eight points.
Parker 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 losses will have to wait for another night. Cory Joseph, who spends most of his time with the D-League Austin Toros, was a surprise starter in Parker's place and scored eight points and added four assists.
"I thought he did a fine job," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He played a good floor game. I like his defense. I like his aggressive attitude, as far as loose balls and sticking his nose in. He's gotten an opportunity and he seems to be taking advantage of it."
The Pistons turned the ball over 19 times, leading to 26 Spurs 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.