Detroit Pistons 87, Boston Celtics 77
The Boston Celtics headed to Detroit this evening for a game against the Pistons. Winless this season, the Celtics desperately looked to get on track and record a win as well as develop cohesion within the team and develop offensive firepower without their floor general, Rajon Rondo.
It was evident when the game first commenced; however, that the Celtics have not yet found the remedy for their offensive woes. Without a shot-creater in Rondo, the C's once again faltered in their attempt to convert on their offensive possessions. Both Jeff Green and Avery Bradley started the game on 1-for-6 shooting while Vitor Faverani scored four of the team's first six points.
Though Courtney Lee and Jordan Crawford have been struggling on offense and shot selection, respectfully, they both provided an offensive spark tonight, as they combined for eight quick points off the bench for the Celtics. The combination of Faverani, Lee, and Crawford were not enough to counter Detroit's offense; however, as the Celtics ended the first quarter with a 3-point deficit (24-21).
The second quarter was more or less the same style of play that we've seen from Boston thus far this season: limited rebounding and a lack of offense. Nearing the end of the second quarter, Detroit's combination of Andre Drummond, Josh Smith, and Greg Monroe proved effective for the Pistons, beating the Celtics in both points in the paint and offensive rebounds.
By halftime, the Pistons' lead grew to 10 points (45-35), and the Celtics' lack of offense was apparent, as Jordan Crawford was the team leader in points with only nine points. Meanwhile, Drummond, Smith, and Monroe combined for 26 points and 16 rebounds allowing Detroit to beat Boston in rebounding 27-15.
The same could be said for the beginning of the third quarter, simply put, a display of mediocre play that fans can probably expect to become the norm this season for these young, new-look Celtics. They turned it around; however, while the Pistons were a bit too lax on the Celtics. Forcing nine turnovers in the third quarter, as opposed to the seven in the first half of the game, the Celtics turned up both their defense and offense, cutting the Pistons point advantage to just five points (63-58) at the end of the quarter.
A quick three-pointer from Avery Bradley and a pair of Jared Sullinger free-throws brought the C's within three points (68-65) to start the fourth quarter. Detroit woke up and rebuilt their lead to 10 points; however, a Courtney Lee foul somehow motivated the Celtics. After Drummond missed one of his two free-throws, Brandon Bass hit a jumper followed by a steal by Bradley which he converted into two points, forcing the Pistons to take a timeout with their lead cut to just two points (77-79).
The timeout marked the beginning of sloppy play by both the Celtics and the Pistons. Following a Brandon Jennings turnover was a foul by Josh Smith followed by a turnover and foul by Lee, sending Detroit's Rodney Stuckey to the free-throw line. Stuckey hit both of his free-throws, followed by a Bradley turnover sending the ball back to Detroit. Jennings failed to convert, which Kelly Olynyk rebounded, only to be turned over again by Bradley.
The numerous turnovers only marked the beginning of the end for the Celtics, as they ended the game with a plethora of missed shots and fouls.
The combination of Detroit's free-throws resulting from Boston's numerous fouls and the C's inability to score since Bradley's jumper at the 2:14 mark of the fourth quarter was the knife that killed the Celtics tonight.
The game ended with a final score of 87-77. Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond were the point leaders for Detroit, each with 15 points while Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, and Jordan Crawford led Boston, Olynyk with 15 points and both Bradley and Crawford with 13 points. The Celtics will head to Memphis for a game against the Grizzlies tomorrow night.