AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – With interim coach John Loyer hoarsely shouting instructions, the Detroit Pistons ran away from the San Antonio Spurs in the third quarter.
Brandon Jennings finished with 21 points, Rodney Stuckey added 20 and the Pistons beat San Antonio 109-100 on Monday in Loyer’s first game at the helm.
Stuckey, a former standout for Eastern Washington and Kentwood High School in Covington, made 7 of 13 shots from the field.
Detroit fired Maurice Cheeks on Sunday after 50 games as coach. The Pistons have won five of their last seven.
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“I told them it was going to be an emotional day,” Loyer said. “I told them I thought we can play, collectively, for longer periods of time better than we have.”
Marco Belinelli led the Spurs with 20 points.
San Antonio, meanwhile, turned the ball over eight times in the third quarter, when Detroit pushed its lead from 11 to 20.
There were other flaws for the Spurs.
“We lost the game because we probably played the worst defense we’ve played all season, especially in the first half,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “We didn’t bring it mentally or physically, and the Pistons did.”
Loyer’s sideline demeanor was quite a change from Cheeks’ relatively calm approach.
“They’re both two different coaches,” Jennings said. “One is loud, the other one is kind of laid back. They’re both great guys — especially Cheeks. He’s like a father figure to me, so he’s definitely going to be missed. But this is the NBA, so I know how that goes.”
Popovich, who has coached the Spurs since 1996, was asked about his longevity.
“I have information on everybody,” he said, joking. “And I’ve threatened everybody I’ll let it out unless they keep me as long as I want to stay.”
Green, Olynyk lead Celtics
MILWAUKEE – Former Sonic Jeff Green scored 29 points and rookie Kelly Olynyk from Gonzaga added 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks 102-86.
The Celtics used a 12-4 run to start the final quarter to break open what had been a tight game. Green had seven points during the spurt and 11 overall in the quarter, while Olynyk scored 10 after Boston entered the fourth clinging to a 70-68 lead.
• Dwight Howard had 18 points and 15 rebounds, and the visiting Houston Rockets beat Minnesota 107-89 to extend their winning streak to six games.
Back after missing one game with a bruised left quadriceps, Kevin Love led Minnesota with 31 points and 10 rebounds.
• David West scored 25 points and Roy Hibbert added 14 as the host Indiana Pacers routed Denver 119-80. The Pacers (40-11) have the league’s best record.
The Nuggets played without several injured players.
• Kyle Lowry contributed 19 points and 12 assists, Patrick Patterson scored a season-high 22 and the host Toronto Raptors beat the New Orleans Pelicans 108-101.
• Marreese Speights scored a career-high 32 points against his former team, helping Golden State rout visiting Philadelphia 123-80.
The 76ers have lost their last two by a combined 88 points.