Short-handed Spurs topple injury-depleted Pistons 123-95 to close disappointing seasons

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Sandro Mamukelashvili had 18 points and the San Antonio Spurs routed the Detroit Pistons 123-95 on Sunday to close disappointing seasons for both franchises.

Blake Wesley added 17 points for San Antonio. Zach Collins had 17 points and nine rebounds before injuring his shoulder early in the second half.

San Antonio was without Victor Wembanyama, the No. 1 pick in the draft and expected Rookie of the Year. Detroit was without Cade Cunningham, the top pick in 2021.

The Pistons (14-68) finished with the worst record in franchise history. The previous worst was 16-66 in 1980.

The Spurs (22-60) matched last season’s record, which was the third-worst in franchise history but enabled them to draft Wembanyama.

The 7-foot-3 rookie from France exceeded all expectations, but San Antonio was unable to keep up with his success for much of the season.

The Spurs started poorly, including a franchise worst 18-game losing streak from Nov. 5 to Dec. 15. But San Antonio finished on an upswing, going 11-12 following their annual Rodeo Road Trip and won seven of their final 11 games.

The recent surge overwhelmed Detroit.

The Spurs shot 54% from the field and had eight players score in double figures.

James Wiseman had 21 points to lead Detroit. Marcus Sasser had 17 points and Jared Rhoden added 16.

San Antonio swept the season series with Detroit, winning both by an average of 25 points.

Both teams played the finale with a skeleton crew due to injuries.

In addition to Cunningham, Detroit was without Jalen Duren, Simone Fontecchio, Isaiah Stewart and Ausar Thompson.

Along with Wembanyama, the Spurs were without Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan, Malaki Branham, Cedi Osman and Dominik Barlow. The Spurs lost Collins two minutes into the second half with a right shoulder injury.

Without six of its top eight scorers to start the game, San Antonio still managed to shoot 62% from the field in the second quarter and lead by 27 points.



Raul Dominguez, The Associated Press