Detroit Pistons can’t hold early lead vs. San Antonio Spurs, fall 119-107

Pistons guard Reggie Jackson, right, fouls San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli during the first half Monda in Detroit. (AP photo)

By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — San Antonio was already down eight points when the Spurs took a timeout around the midway point of the first quarter.
Then, after a turnover led to a Detroit dunk, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called another timeout, just 14 seconds after the first.
“Just mental errors, mental errors defensively, and gave them some easy buckets,” San Antonio guard Bryn Forbes said. “I don’t know if it was to slow the run, but kind of get our head on right — kind of slow their pace there.”
The Spurs responded well after those early problems, taking the lead by halftime and cruising to a 119-107 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points, and Popovich moved another step higher on the NBA’s career wins list.
Popovich now has 1,221 victories. He’s tied with Jerry Sloan for third place, trailing only Don Nelson and Lenny Wilkens.
“I thought after the first quarter, we competed well, we were sharper and we executed better,” Popovich said.
The Spurs trailed 19-9 after the second of those two timeouts, but they appeared to get the message. A 23-2 run spanning parts of the first and second quarters put the Spurs up 45-33.
It was relatively smooth sailing from there for San Antonio, which led 59-51 at halftime and 84-73 after three quarters.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points for the Spurs. Blake Griffin scored 34 for Detroit, and Andre Drummond added 19 points and 14 rebounds.