Spurs finish on upward swing, beat NBA-worst Pistons

Sandro Mamukelashvili poured in 18 points to lead eight players in double figures as the host San Antonio Spurs rolled over the Detroit Pistons 123-95 on Sunday afternoon in the season finale for both teams.

Both the Spurs (22-60) and the Pistons (14-68) have long been eliminated from the postseason.

San Antonio, despite being without six injured players that started games this season, finished strong, winning four of their final six games to end up in 14th place in the West, one spot out of the cellar.

Detroit dropped 15 of its last 17 games and finished as the worst team in the NBA after setting a team-low mark for wins in a season, supplanting the 16 wins produced by the 1979-80 squad.

Likely rookie of the year Victor Wembanyama sat out after playing in 71 of the Spurs’ 82 contests, ending the season as the only rookie in NBA history with 1,500 points, 250 assists and 250 blocked shots. He averaged 21.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game and led the league with 3.6 blocks per contest.

San Antonio led by six after one quarter before blowing open the game in the second period, outscoring the Pelicans by 17 while taking a 63-40 into intermission. The Spurs pushed the margin to 31 midway through the third and cruised to the finish.

Zach Collins and Blake Wesley added 17 each for San Antonio, with David Duke Jr. scoring 15, Devonte’ Graham hitting for 12 points, Tre Jones and Julian Champagnie tallying 11 and RayQuan Gray contributing 10.

James Wiseman racked up a game-high 21 points and 18 rebounds for Detroit while Marcus Sasser had 17 points, Jared Rhoden scored 16 and Jaden Ivey hit for 13.

San Antonio poured in on in the second period, leading by 20 after a 3-pointer by Champagnie with 6:34 to play in the quarter and then by 25 after Jones hit a 3-pointer and then drove the lane for a layup, the latter with 3:21 to go until halftime. The Spurs led by 23 at the break after outshooting Detroit 54.3 percent to 32.7 percent from the floor in the first half.

Collins led all scorers with 15 points before halftime. Wiseman led the Pistons with 10 points and 11 rebounds in an otherwise dismal first half for Detroit.