SAN ANTONIO — Late in the first half of the San Antonio Spurs 120-110 win against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, Manu Ginobili fell to the ground, causing an anxious moment.
Was Ginobili, the guard who missed eight games this season with a hamstring injury, injured again? As it turned out, the only damage was to the basketball shoe that blew out when Ginobili’s foot twisted.
Ginobili then put on a new shoe and led a third-quarter rally that helped the Spurs beat Detroit.
San Antonio, returning home after its nine-game road trip, improved to 41-16.
Ginboli, scoreless in the first half, produced nine points and three assists in the third quarter. During one stretch of less than three minutes, his passing and shooting accounted for 13 straight Spurs points. He finished with 16 points and nine assists.
Guard Marco Bellinelli, a reserve, like Ginobili, led the Spurs with 20 points. He converted all four of his 3-point attempts.
San Antonio, the most accurate 3-point shooting team in the NBA, hit 9 of 19.
Forward Kawhi Leonard, back in the lineup after missing 15 games with a broken hand, scored 15.
Forward Josh Smith led Detroit (23-35) with 24 points. Center Andre Drummond had 16 points and 17 rebounds.
Smith launched an all-out assault on the Spurs in the first half. He scored 20 points — four more than his average — while grabbing five rebounds and making five assists. Smith converted 8 of 12 shots, including both 3-point attempts.
Kyle Singler, a 6-foot-8 forward by trade who played guard Wednesday, wasn’t bad either in the half, producing 11 points. He hit all five of his shots.
And yet, despite Smith and Singler, the Spurs managed to survive the half with a 57-53 lead. They finished with a 10-0 push, with forward Tim Duncan scoring the last six points.
NOTES: Spurs G Tony Parker missed his fifth consecutive game while resting and recovering from various physical ailments. Coach Gregg Popovich said Parker would return by Sunday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks at the latest. The Spurs face the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday. … Parker told the San Antonio Express-News on Wednesday that he would retire from international basketball after the 2016 Olympics, but he has no plans to leave the NBA. A report from NBA Greece indicated that Parker would retire from the NBA and the French national team in two years. … Detroit has a difficult task ahead — 15 of its last 24 games are on the road, including one Saturday against the Rockets in Houston. … The Pistons arrived in San Antonio with a 2-5 record in seven games under interim coach John Loyer, who took over when Mo Cheeks was fired. “Our effort has been very good,” Loyer said.
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