(Reuters) - The San Antonio Spurs are riding high on their grueling "Rodeo Road Trip" after a 100-89 triumph over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday gave the NBA's top team their third consecutive win.
The Spurs, playing the fourth contest of a grueling nine-game road trip while a rodeo occupies their home arena, got 19 points from Tony Parker while DeJuan Blair added 18 points and 12 rebounds.
The win improved their NBA-best record and made them the first team to begin a season 43-8 or better since 1996-97 NBA champions Chicago, who stormed out of the gate with a 45-6 record.
"We can get a lot better," second-year post player Blair told reporters.
"Once all of our players get healthy we'll be where we want at the end of the year. (The road trip) allows us to get serious about the second-half of the season."
San Antonio led 80-78 midway through the fourth quarter before a 9-2 run let them pull away down the stretch.
The Spurs made a trio of three-pointers during the spurt, two from Manu Ginobili and one from Matt Bonner, and finished with 10 on the night to keep the Pistons at bay.
"We had good shots. We were moving the ball very well," Parker said. "Everybody was being aggressive. We had open shots and everybody was making them."
Detroit (19-33) reserve Will Bynum led the home team with 21 points but the Pistons' loss snapped a string of successive victories. Rookie Greg Monroe tallied 14 points and 13 rebounds for Detroit in the losing effort.
Richard Hamilton, who has been at odds with head coach John Kuester, sat out with a sore groin. The veteran guard had played on Saturday for the first time since January 10.
(Editing by Frank Pingue and Peter Rutherford)
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