Brandon Jennings hit a driving shot with 0.1 seconds left, and Detroit stunned the Spurs, 105-104. Some had pointed out that the Pistons had faced less than top-notch competition during the five-game winning streak they brought into San Antonio, but no one can doubt the legitimacy of a road win over the defending champions.
The Pistons had won just five of their first 28 games when, after a loss to the Nets in which Smith shot just 5 for 16, they decided that they couldn’t stand to have him around anymore. The team immediately reeled off wins over the Pacers, Cavaliers, Magic, Knicks and Kings, but that’s not not exactly a murderer’s row, especially given Cleveland’s struggles.
For their part, the Spurs had been scuffling a bit, losing seven of their previous 11 games, but they had appeared to have righted the ship, winning three of four before Detroit arrived, including two in a row over the Pelicans and Wizards. Now, at 21-16, San Antonio sits just a half-game ahead of Phoenix, which holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
As it happened, the Spurs’ other recent win came against Smith’s current employers, the Rockets. Since the forward joined Houston, that team has gone 3-4, after starting the season 20-7 without him.
Next up for the red-hot Pistons? The Mavericks, who share the NBA’s longest current winning streak (six games) with Detroit. Something’s gotta give! If only the Pistons had another Josh Smith to give away — they’d be guaranteed a win, right?