Spurs resume lengthy trek vs. Pistons

The San Antonio Spurs are starting to pick up their game on game Rodeo Road Trip tonight against the lowly Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Spurs have won seven in a row overall and improved to 3-0 on the annual trip following Saturday's 103-89 triumph at New Jersey. Gary Neal scored 18 points off the bench, Tim Duncan finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocks and Tony Parker added 12 points for the Spurs, who improved to 6-8 away from the Alamo City.

"For some reason he plays like this on the road," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said about Neal. "He shoots the ball well on the road. He enjoys it."

Tiago Splitter and Danny Green each contributed 10 points in the win. Manu Ginobili made his return to the Spurs after missing 22 games with a fracture in his left hand and finished with seven points and four assists. San Antonio will also visit the Raptors, Clippers, Jazz, Blazers and Nuggets on the nearly 8,000-mile trek.

San Antonio, which is 1 1/2 games ahead of Dallas for first place in the Southwest Division, is currently in the midst of playing 16 of 21 games on the road and is 10-5 so far during that stretch, having played 10 games on the road and five at the AT&T Center.

The Spurs' seven-game winning streak is the longest since winning eight consecutive games between Jan. 7-21, 2011.

Detroit had won a season-best four straight games until dropping a 98-77 decision to Washington on Sunday in the middle test of a three-game homestand.

Greg Monroe had 27 points and six rebounds, while Rodney Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Pistons, who shot a season-low 32.6 percent from the field and committed 19 turnovers.

"From the beginning of the game, we didn't have that same sort of effort and intensity that we had in some of these prior games," Detroit head coach Lawrence Frank said.

The Pistons were averaging 96.2 points over their previous five games and are 6-9 as the host this season. Last in the Central Division, Detroit will visit Boston Wednesday.

Detroit was swept by San Antonio in last year's home-and-home series and has lost four of the previous five meetings between the teams. Monroe averaged a double-double against the Spurs last season, recording 15.0 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Parker averaged 21 points and seven assists against the Pistons in 2010-11.

San Antonio leads all-time series by a 47-30 margin and owns a 20-18 advantage as the visitor in this matchup.