Tony Parker, Spurs too much for Pistons


99. 64. 109. 29. Final

The Pistons learned the hard way tonight that you simply cannot let up for any stretch of the game against a team like the Spurs.

The Spurs’ bench dominated the second quarter, Tony Parker dominated the third, and that was the difference in the game. Credit the Pistons for battling in the fourth to cut the lead to six at one point, but it was too little too late. Every time the crowd started getting back into it, the Spurs got an open look and nailed it. That is what happens when you dig yourself a hole against a team who is as maddeningly consistent as the Spurs. The officials didn’t help the Pistons’ cause in this game, but that was hardly the deciding factor.

Here are the grades:

C-. Reggie was off all night. Even his go-to runner in the lane wasn’t falling. To make matters worse, Tony Parker went off for a season high 31 points, which included hitting his first seven buckets of the third quarter, six of which came against Jackson. The one positive I took from his performance tonight was that it seemed like he was able to recognize that he was having an off night shooting the ball, and he didn’t force the issue like he has at times this season. He finished with just 10 points on 3-13 shooting, but he did have 11 assists (to 5 turnovers).. PG. Pistons. REGGIE JACKSON

SG. Pistons. KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE. A. KCP was on fire tonight. Unfortunately for the Pistons, he didn’t have much help. KCP finished with an efficient 25 points on 9-14 from the floor (4-6 from three) with three rebounds, two assists and three steals.

D. Stanley was non-existent out there tonight.  He finished with two points on 0-7 shooting, and looked out of control with the ball in his hands. . SF. Pistons. STANLEY JOHNSON

C-. Morris could not get anything going on the offensive end, shooting 1-6 for four points and five rebounds, but he did help hold Kawhi Leonard to just seven points on 1-7 shooting. You have to wonder if the knee is still bothering him.. SF. Pistons. MARCUS MORRIS

Pistons. ANDRE DRUMMOND. B-. Andre was off to a nice start before he picked up his second foul with a little less than five minutes left in the first quarter. He came back in about a minute into the second quarter, and promptly picked up his third foul on what was a terrible call. He played great in the second half and was still able to finish with 17 points and 10 rebounds. I can’t help but wonder what this game might have looked like had Andre been able to stay on the floor in the first half.. C

Pistons. ARON BAYNES. A. Baynes took advantage of extended minutes tonight by turning in his best game as a Piston. He finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 15 points and 9 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive glass. He was very active on both ends of the floor all night, and got robbed of a block on Tim Duncan in the fourth quarter that was called goaltending. Despite the loss, it was good to see Baynes play well against his former team.. C

B. Jennings provided a spark in the fourth quarter and helped cut the Spurs lead to single digits with a highlight reel alley oop to Drummond and a three point play of his own. He finished with nine points and four assists in 18 minutes of action.. PG. Pistons. BRANDON JENNINGS

C+. Tolliver was solid tonight, finishing with 9 points and 4 rebounds, but he missed 2 of 3 free throws in the fourth quarter that the Pistons really needed. Somehow, he finished the night +5, the only Piston in the plus column.. PF. Pistons. ANTHONY TOLLIVER

D. Ilyasova gave up three quick buckets to LaMarcus Aldridge to start the game, then responded by drawing one of his signature charges. Unfortunately, that was the only notable play Ersan made all night. He finished with 6 points on 3-9 shooting (0-3 from three) and 6 rebounds, and was a team worst -15.. PF. Pistons. ERSAN ILYASOVA

Joel played one minute at the end of the first half because Drummond had three fouls and Baynes needed a breather. He had two points. . C. Pistons. JOEL ANTHONY. Inc

B-. I liked how Coach Van Gundy wanted to establish Drummond in the post right out of the gate, but Andre getting into foul trouble put a stop to that before it could really impact the game. With the Spurs pulling away in the third quarter, SVG inserted Brandon Jennings and sat Marcus Morris and Ersan Illyasova, and the Pistons went on a bit of a run to get back into the game. SVG continues to do a great job at making sure the Pistons never quit, despite being down late in the game.. Head Coach. Pistons. STAN VAN GUNDY