Greg Monroe: ‘We Refocused Right Before New Year’

The Detroit Pistons won their sixth game in a row Tuesday night, overcoming a 37-20 first-quarter deficit to stun the Spurs in San Antonio, 105-104.

“We’re definitely excited to get (this) win,” Pistons forward Greg Monroe said on Ferrall on the Bench. “We came in here. Obviously they’re a great team. They’re defending champs. So to come in here and be able to grind out a win is definitely huge for us.”

Monroe had a great game for Detroit, finishing with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go with 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Andre Drummond, meanwhile, was also a beast down low, going off for 20 points, 17 rebounds and a block.

That’s 37 points and 28 rebounds from your top two big men.

“That’s one thing that Coach Van Gundy asks us to do every day,” Monroe said. “He knows we’re good rebounders, so at least he wants us to definitely come in and try to help our team control the rebounding stat line every night.”

The Pistons (11-23) out-rebounded the Spurs (21-15), 45-41. Detroit also forced 17 turnovers, including 10 steals.

And yet, the game wasn’t decided until the final seconds, when Pistons guard Brandon Jennings hit a tough buzzer-beating floater over Boris Diaw and Danny Granger to give Detroit a one-point win. Jennings finished with 13 points and seven assists.

“Definitely a great shot,” Monroe said. “He’s been playing very well the past few games and he definitely hit a big shot for us tonight.”

More importantly, the Pistons, who started the year 5-23, actually look like a team that believes in itself, a team that – believe it or not – is only 3.5 games back of Miami (15-20) for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

“We just kind of refocused right before the new year,” Monroe said. “Everybody just kind of bought in. We’ve been able to pick up on defense and just play hard. That’s been helping us out.”

The Pistons have beaten the Pacers, Cavaliers, Magic, Knicks, Kings and Spurs during their winning streak, taking five of the six games by double digits. In fact, Detroit’s average margin of victory through the first five games of the streak was 18.2.

“It’s been a little bit of everything,” Monroe said. “Everybody just bought in. We kind of refocused. Everybody looked at themselves in the mirror and then we looked at ourselves as a team. We won our first one and just kept it rolling.”

Detroit cannot rest on its laurels, however, especially with two tough games upcoming. The Pistons head to Dallas (26-10) on Jan. 7 before returning home for a tough game against Atlanta (26-8) on Jan. 9. Dallas is fourth in the Western Conference, while Atlanta is atop the East.

“We’re just trying to take it one game at a time,” Monroe said. “We’re going to celebrate this tonight, and then we’re going to get ready for Dallas.”

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