The Spurs signed Pau Gasol as Tim Duncan’s replacement. On Friday, the Spurs faithful saw flashes from No. 21 in Gasol as the Silver and Black snapped out of their funk at home.
Gasol had a season-high 21 points as the Spurs earned a 96-86 win over the Detroit Pistons at the AT&T Center, snapping a three-game home losing streak.
”The team is still trying to improve,” Spurs guard Tony Parker said. ”We have a lot of guys to try and put in our team like Pau. Everybody is trying to find their role in this team. And so, we’ll be fine. It’s going to take some time.”
LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 points and 12 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard added 17 on 5-for-18 shooting for San Antonio, who opened the first game of a back-to-back.
Leonard has his worst shooting game of the season and has struggled the past few games. However, Gasol says the team has his back.
”You just can’t afford to lose at home, period,” he said. ”We just needed to snap out of that bad streak at home and start playing with some fire.”
The Pistons were led by Andre Drummond’s 20 points. Tobias Harris and Ish Smith each added 12 for Detroit (4-5).
Detroit trailed by as many as 13 points, but stepped things up defensively to cut the Spurs lead to five in the final minutes. Leonard may have struggled all game, but his three-pointer would seal the win for the Spurs, putting them up eight with a minute remaining.
”I’m not upset at anybody,” Detroit coach Stan 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.”
Up next: The Spurs 6-3 on the season and will return to the court tomorrow night when they face James Harden and the Houston Rockets at 7:30 p.m. at Toyota Center.