Detroit got into the painted area at will in the first quarter. 22 of the Pistons’ 24 first quarter points were acquired in the paint. Boston managed to keep things close, behind who else but Vitor Faverani. Faverani scored the C’s first 4 points and was once again active down low-he had a block, 2 boards and 6 points in his first 9 minutes. Jeff Green struggled to get going, not scoring at all in the first, yet Boston was in the game-it was 24-21 Detroit after 1Q.
The Celtics went ice cold in the 2nd quarter. Boston shot 5 of 20 from the field, only mustering 14 points. The Pistons continued to attack the rack, but this time it was Rodney Stuckey who took the reigns. Stuckey scored 7 points, 5 of them from the free-throw line. Boston took some decent shots in the second that didn’t fall, but without a true point guard were also lost at times. Stevens once again did not play Phil Pressey tonight, despite Avery Bradley looking uncomfortable at the point. C’s had another rough 2nd quarter and went into the half down 45-35.
Celtics looked sloppy & sluggish to start the 3rd. With 3 turnovers in the first 3 minutes, the Pistons upped the lead to 15, 52-37 with 10:04 left in the 3rd. Jeff Green did not let his slow start keep him down though. Green brought out the “a$shole” we all love so much, and pulled the Celtics back to within 10 after a three-point play and layup. It was 56-46 with 7:18 left in the quarter. Detroit got away from their post/paint game, and it looked like Boston could get back into the contest. Well they did just that. Behind some sloppy play from Detroit & an active Kelly Olynyk, who had 6 points on 3 of 3 shooting & 3 rebounds in the quarter, the Celts were only down 5 after 3Q- 63-58.
The Celts opened the 4th with a flurry of defense and good shooting-they kept the Pistons scoreless for the first 2 minutes and change of the quarter, and Avery Bradley’s trey tied the game at 63 with 11:02 to go in the game. But Detroit went on a 12-2 run and had the lead back to 10 with 4:57 left. The C’s made things interesting in the final minutes of the 4th, but they shot themselves in the foot in the closing moments. Boston’s three straight turnovers in the final minute & change sealed their fate in this one. Josh Smith, Andre Drummond & Greg Monroe all had 15 for Detroit, and Brandon Jennings added 14 in his return from injury. Kelly Olynyk had 15 for the Celtics. Also of note, Brad Stevens did not play Jeff Green or Vitor Faverani at all in the fourth quarter. Perhaps preserving them for tomorrow’s tail end of a back-to-back. Celtics now head to Memphis where they face the Grizzlies tomorrow night. Tip-off is at 8pm EST.
- Kelly Olynyk had a solid night, scoring 15 points and grabbing 8 boards. 10 of the 15 pts (and all of the 8 rebounds) came in the 2nd half and were key in Boston almost hanging-on for their first win.
- Jordan Crawford and Avery Bradley combined for 26 points, 4 steals, 4 assists & 11 rebounds.
- Celtics shot 12 of 12 from the free-throw line
- Boston could not hit the side of a barn from downtown. They shot 3 of 16 from beyond the arc
- Celtics turned the ball over 23 times, 3 of them in the crucial final minutes of the game
The Grid: (quick stats)
- As I mentioned above, Stevens sat both Green & Faverani for the entire 4th quarter. He said postgame that he was going with who he thought was “playing well at the time“.
- Celtics & Pistons combined for a hideous 5 of 29 from downtown and 44 total turnovers.