After all, Detroit was coming off a road win over the 20-3 Indiana
Pacers and was playing its fourth game in six days. There had to be
at least a bit of a letdown — and there was.
"When you give a team 35 points in the first quarter, you usually
don't come back from that," said guard Brandon Jennings, whose
number was off — his team actually gave the Celtics 42 points in
the first, fell behind by 21 and then pulled out a wild 107-106
"Our thing is we always have wins against bigger teams and then we
always slack off against teams we should beat," said Jennings, who
had 28 points and 14 assists. "So tonight it felt good just to come
back and win."
It wasn't easy.
The Pistons took over down the stretch and led by seven with three
minutes left. They then fell behind again and had to play some great
defense over the final 17 seconds to get to 13-14 on the year.
Detroit is the only team in the league with wins at both Indiana and
Miami. But the Pistons almost canceled out Monday's win over the
"I wouldn't say we came out flat; we just didn't get back on
defense. We just weren't in rhythm," said forward Kyle Singler, who
had 11 points off the bench.
Asked about what changed, coach Maurice Cheeks said, "I thought we
made plays, got our defense back, got set a little bit and that
changed the game for us."
Jennings hit a contested 3-pointer with 46.7 seconds left to put
Detroit ahead to stay.
With Boston down by two, Celtics forward/center Jared Sullinger was
fouled but made just one of two free throws with 41.5 seconds to
play. The Celtics had a chance to win at the end, but they
squandered 12 seconds, then called a timeout with :05 on the clock
before a wild runner by forward Jeff Green failed.
The Celtics (12-15), the first-place team in the dreadful Atlantic
Division, blew their big first-half lead and then fell behind by
seven with 2:57 left before scoring eight straight points — five by
Sullinger — to move back in front. However, Sullinger's 3-pointer
with 1:01 left was Boston's last basket.
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"We turned the ball over a lot (18 times, 14 on steals),"
said Celtics guard Avery Bradley. "We weren't playing the way we
played in the first quarter, and you know that resulted in the
The Celtics' 42 points in the first quarter were the most
they've scored in any quarter this season. But they had just 64
the rest of the way.
"They turned us over and that was the difference in the game,"
Boston coach Brad Stevens said.
Detroit forward Josh Smith, coming off two consecutive 30-point
games, rallied late to finish with 20 points (he also had four
steals). Center Andre Drummond had 14 points and 16 rebounds and
forward Greg Monroe tallied 12 points and eight boards for the
Sullinger led the Celtics with 19 points and eight rebounds,
while guard Jordan Crawford led the rest of the list of seven
Celtics in double figures with 17 points. He also had six
assists and four rebounds.
Detroit, a strong rebounding team, lost the battle of the boards
NOTES: Trade winds are blowing around the Celtics. A day after
the Sacramento Kings were reportedly putting together a
multi-player offer for G Rajon Rondo (getting closer to a return
from knee surgery), the Celtics were reportedly in talks with
the Houston Rockets for C Omer Asik. F Brandon Bass and G
Courtney Lee were the names bouncing around, but there was also
talk of a third team getting involved. Bass refused comment
before the game, but Lee, a former Rocket, said, "I only know
what y'all know. It's part of the game. It happens. I've been
involved in trade rumors my whole career so I don't pay
attention until it happens." ... Detroit G Rodney Stuckey missed
the game with a shoulder injury. Former Celtics G Chauncey
Billups, 37, was back after sitting out the win at Indiana for a
rest day. He scored six points. ... The Pistons host the
Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night, while the Celtics complete
their five-game homestand with a Saturday matinee against the
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