SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons 97-81 on Wednesday night to clinch their 19th straight playoff berth.
San Antonio (51-9) won its 29th straight home game to open the season in its first game following a month-long road trip brought on by the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.
San Antonio joins Golden State as the only teams to clinch spots in the postseason.
Leonard and Aldridge excelled against a Detroit team thinned by injuries to forwards Anthony Tolliver and Stanley Johnson. Aldridge added 10 rebounds and Leonard had six rebounds and five assists for San Antonio, which has won six straight.
Aldridge and Tim Duncan held Detroit center Andre Drummond to nine points and 14 rebounds, ending his career-high and the league’s season-high of consecutive double-doubles at 13 straight.
Marcus Morris and Tobias Harris had 16 points each for the Pistons (31-30), who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
Aldridge, Duncan and Tony Parker knocked down a series of mid-range jumpers in scoring four points each in a 12-2 run beginning early in the third quarter. Aldridge had 13 points in the quarter, coming within a point of matching Detroit’s total in the period as San Antonio built a double-digit lead for the first time in the game.
Pistons: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was held to four points after scoring a team-high 25 in their previous meeting with the Spurs on Jan. 12. … Former Spurs forward Aron Baynes was cheered loudly when he entered the game. It was Baynes’ first game in San Antonio since signing with the Pistons following two seasons with the Spurs.
Spurs: G guard Manu Ginobili said he is pain free and will return next week after missing a month following testicle surgery. Ginobili was injured Feb. 3 when he was struck in the groin by a knee from New Orleans forward Ryan Anderson, who had spun into the lane and rose for a short jumper. Ginobili underwent surgery that evening and has missed 11 games. … The Spurs will play in their 19th straight postseason, tying the Boston Celtics (1951-69) for the fourth longest streak in league history. … Veteran PG Andre Miller received a rousing ovation when he entered the game with a minute remaining in the third quarter. Miller signed with the team Sunday following a buyout with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Pistons: At New York on Saturday night.
Spurs: At New Orleans on Thursday night.