SAN ANTONIO – The "Welcome Home" sign was out for the San Antonio Spurs, just the kind of party they needed to get the bad Rodeo Road Trip taste out of their mouth.
The Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons, 105-93, to start a three-game homestand.
"Much better feeling you know," said Marco Belinelli, who scored 17 points including three 3-pointers.
"Good win, got a long way to go, nice to kind of take care of homecourt, that has to be our focus now," said LaMarcus Aldridge who scored a team-high 24 points.
For the second game in a row, the Spurs actually played decent defense.
LaMarcus Aldridge on Spurs mindset with less than 20 games left in reg. season...”get wins” also talked about last game vs OKC where he scored 56 pts...said it’s not likely to happen again...”no one let’s you do that twice” #KSATsports #NBA #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/l9nlWRN4Rz— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) February 28, 2019
After holding the Nets to 101 points on their last road game, Wednesday they held the Pistons to just 93 points.
"This is who we have to be. Great effort defensively, especially first game after a road trip," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
One of the moves that helped solidify the defense was putting Jakob Poeltl in the starting lineup.
He responded with his first double-double as a Spur. Poeltl scored 11 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and protected the rim, rejecting three shots.
Derrick White postgame after Spurs beat Pistons to get much-needed win...Derrick had a solid line tonight 15 pts, 6 rebs, 4 asts...and most important says he feels healthy after missing 6 of 8 games on Rodeo Road Trip. #KSATsports #NBA #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/fG7ylUXMXF— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) February 28, 2019
"Jak (Jakob) was great blocking shots, thought he had like 10 blocks but he had three, felt like 10," Aldridge said. "He was active, rolling to the basket and finishing well."
"When we play a team like the Pistons tonight where they have a lot of good bigs I just have to muscle up and protect the rim as good as possible," Poeltl said. " Felt great, felt like I had a lot of energy."
Quick Popovich reaction to the Spurs win tonight over Pistons...kept it short and sweet...said it’s all about defense, credited Jakob and Derrick’s play. #KSATsports #NBA #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/iRKbo58ZXk— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) February 28, 2019
The whole team looked energized after being away for most of the month of February.
DeMar DeRozan just missed another triple-double and finished with 17 points 13 rebounds and eight assists.
"It's always good to be home. You can see the confidence level and the guys moving around. It just felt good to feed off our crowd's energy and it showed," said DeRozan.
They will need more of that energy Saturday when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7:30 p.m.