The start of a lengthy rodeo road trip went well for the San Antonio Spurs, who will resume the nine-game excursion Friday night against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Spurs kicked off the trek with a 104-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday and received solid performances from both Tony Parker and Danny Green. Parker had a season-high 31 points and Green buried eight 3-pointers en route to a career-best 28 points.
"It's really tough to win on the road and tonight Danny Green stepped up big and a lot of guys contributed tonight," said Parker, who recorded 15 points in the first half.
Kawhi Leonard finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who ran their winning streak to 11 games in a row and are 17-9 away from the Alamo City. The Spurs own the highest winning percentage in the NBA at .780 and their .654 road winning percentage ranks first in the NBA.
Spurs forward Tim Duncan missed the Minnesota game because of knee and ankle issues and guard Manu Ginobili has been out the last two games due to a left hamstring issue. Both are doubtful for Friday's game.
San Antonio will try to extend its road winning streak to five games.
Detroit hopes that won't happen and is mired in a three-game slide, which continued with Wednesday's 93-90 setback to the Brooklyn Nets.
Joe Johnson buried a pair of free throws with 8.8 seconds remaining to lift the visiting Nets, while Greg Monroe netted a game-high 23 points and grabbed 10 boards for the Pistons, who have dropped five of six, seven of nine and are 13-14 as the host.
Detroit had an early 19-9 lead and also led by a 46-33 score later on. However, the Nets clawed their way back and took a three-point lead (88-91) with 17.8 seconds left on a Brook Lopez layup.
"You have to give Brooklyn credit, but there were many opportunities in controllable situations that we just didn't do a very good job," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said.
Monroe is posting averages of 18.5 points and 12.0 rebounds in his last four games. On the injury front for Detroit, rookie Andre Drummond (back/tailbone) is doubtful for Friday's game. He has been an instrumental player on defense with at least one block in 18 straight contests and played just 4:41 in the loss to the Nets, posting two blocks and an assist.
Detroit is allowing 101.2 ppg in the 32 losses this season and 88.8 ppg in 18 wins. The Pistons could use some defense Friday against the Spurs, who have won three in a row and 15 of the last 23 matchups in this series.