Spurs (7-13) vs. Detroit Pistons (6-13)
When, where: Sunday, 4 p.m., Little Caesar's Arena, Detroit
All-time series record: Spurs lead 58-34
Last season: Spurs won 2-0
Season series: First meeting
Last meeting: Spurs 105, Pistons 93, Feb. 27, AT&T Center
Spurs' last game: Beat Los Angeles Clippers 107-97, Friday, AT&T Center
Pistons' last game: Lost to Charlotte Hornets 110-07, Friday, Detroit
Spurs' last 10 games/streak: 2-8, won one
Pistons' last 10 games/streak: 2-8, lost two
Spurs' injury/inactive report: Forward LaMarcus Aldridge (right thigh; soreness), out; guard/forward Keldon Johnson (G League), out; forward Chimezie Metu (left foot; soreness), out; guard Patty Mills (left foot; soreness), available; forward Luka Samanic (G League), out; guard Quindarry Weatherspoon (G League), out.
Pistons' injury/inactive report: Guard Jordan Bone (G League), out; guard Reggie Jackson (left lumbar spine; stress reaction), out; forward Louis King (G League), out; guard Khyri Thomas (right foot; surgery), out.
Notable: After playing at Detroit on Sunday, the Spurs host Houston on Tuesday and Sacramento on Friday. The Silver and Black will be off for nearly a week before playing Cleveland on Thursday, Dec. 12, at the AT&T Center.
It's been a month since the Spurs have won back-to-back games.
Fresh off a 107-97 victory against former Spur Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, the Silver and Black get another crack at winning two straight when they play the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit.
The Spurs (7-13) jumped out to a 3-0 start this season, winning all three games at home. But the Silver and Black have gone 4-13 since then and have lost 10 of their last 12 games.
Off to their worst start since the 1996-97 season, when Tim Duncan was a senior at Wake Forest, the Spurs are 12th in the NBA's Western Conference standings. At this point, just getting to the .500 mark would be a major feat for a team that has struggled to find its groove in the first quarter of the season.
The victory over the Clippers capped a three-game home stand for San Antonio, which will play three straight at home again after facing Detroit on Sunday.
The Spurs were aggressive against the Clippers from the get-go and didn't let up. Coach Gregg Popovich cited power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and center Jakob Poeltl for their play and was heartened by the team's play.
"Well, I thought LA (Aldridge) and Jakob were great at the rim," Popovich said. "Well, I thought a lot of people played good D across the board. We had a lot of good energy, a lot of activity defensively from a lot of guys, and that aggressiveness really helped.”
The Spurs have listed Aldridge as being out for Sunday's game with a sore right thigh.
Poeltl was a force on the defensive end against the Clippers, finishing with four blocks to match Aldridge's rejections.
Poeltl, 7-foot-1, has blocked 15 shots in the Silver and Black's last six games. He got a standing ovation Friday night after getting three blocks against the Clippers in the second quarter.
“It was fun," Poeltl said. "I tried to stay focused, but I had to crack a smile for a second there. Trying to be active out there and I guess the fans appreciated that tonight.”
For one night, at least, the Spurs wore down an opponent with their defense.
"We had a couple of stretches tonight where we put great runs together and really came out strong with energy on the defensive end," Poeltl said. "All of a sudden the shots started falling and it really got us going, and it felt like that’s how we were supposed to play the whole season and that is what we are capable of doing. It’s great to finally show that and get it off our chest.”
Poeltl was asked if the Silver and Black proved something with their win over the Clippers.
“I think we did," he said. "We always knew that we were capable of this and we showed it in stretches, but tonight we finally got to put it all together and show it over 48 minutes and we were focused the whole time.
"Obviously, it’s a game of runs. They are going to make some runs, but we always responded and we stayed out and we followed the game plan on defense. It was great to finally get that done.”
Forward DeMar DeRozan also attributed the victory to the Spurs playing better defense for an entire game.
"I think we were in our defense, and I played aggressive defensively," DeRozan said. "We took on the challenge of the talent that they have, individually and team-wise. We followed everything defensively we said we were going to do and did it to the best of our abilities, and they gave us the opportunity offensively to get a rhythm.”
DeRozan was asked what the win meant to the Spurs.
"That we can beat anybody," he said. "You know, this is just like any team in our conference. We went out there to compete and the outcome came out our way. As long as we continue to carry out that confidence over to the next game, it doesn’t matter who we are playing. We should be fine.” .