AT&T CENTER - With Kawhi Leonard returning to the lineup and the team almost at full strength minus Tony Parker, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Detroit Pistons 120-110 on Wednesday, in the team’s return to the AT&T Center, following their 9-game annual Rodeo Road Trip.
With a season high tying 34 assists on 44 made baskets, the Spurs pulled away from the Pistons in the second half, outscoring Detroit 63-57, and building a 15-point lead, as eight players scored in double-figures. Marco Belinelli led the group with 20 points on 4-of-4 shooting from three, while Manu Ginobili added 16 points, nine assists, and three steals. Leonard, in his first game since returning from injury, tallied 15 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks in 29 minutes.
Here’s an analysis of some key components from the Spurs’ 41st victory of the season.
34 assists in detail
Outside of missing Parker, the Spurs’ team is almost back at full strength. Even without Parker, the team was a machine assisting on 77% of their made baskets. “Yeah, that was impressive,” said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich of the 34 assists. “You get 34 assists, that’s really incredible actually.” After a sluggish first half in which the team totaled 13 turnovers in the first half and 14 assists on 20 made baskets, the Spurs began to function as a unit with 20 assists on 24 made baskets in the second half. In the fourth quarter alone, the team assisted on 10 of their 12 made field goals. The Spurs also collected 11 secondary assists on the night.