The Celtics were able to hang on against an attempted comeback to beat the Pistons 102-95. The lead was as high as 24 in the third quarter but Detroit was able to pull within 7 with over a minute to play. It was a complete team effort offensively Boston as six players finished in double-digit scoring. Isaiah Thomas (17), Avery Bradley (15), Evan Turner (14), Marcus Smart, Jared Sullinger, Jae Crowder (12). Boston had 28 assists on 42 field goals.
The Celtics started off the game with solid ball movement, leading to assists on each of their first 8 field goals to open up a 17-6 lead. Marcus Smart buried back-to-back 3's to end the quarter and gave Boston a 27-16 advantage.
Brandon Jennings led the Pistons second unit on a little run to cut the lead to 6 before Smart nailed his third from downtown. The C's held a steady double digit lead for most of the 2nd quarter, but some stingy defense and timely shots created a 9-2 run in the final two minutes, ending the first half up 56-36. It was truly a team effort, as no Celtic was in double figures scoring by the end of the half and all 10 that played had scored and grabbed at least one rebound. 8 had an assist.
The C's looked to add to their 20 point lead and came out of the locker room aggressive, pushing it to 24. A three-point barrage by the Pistons led by Ersan Ilyasova managed to cut the lead down to 12. However, the Celtics were able to calm the storm and took at 78-60 lead into the final quarter.
Similar to Monday night in New York, Evan Turner began the fourth quarter as the primary ball-handler and was very successful. He connected on his first two jumpers and found a cutting Avery Bradley underneath for a layup. Detroit refused to go quietly though, and forced the lead back down to 8 with 3:27 to play. Isaiah Thomas converted a huge three-point play with a little over 2 minutes left. Smart put the final nail in the coffin with a corner 3 in the final minute.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa
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