Isaiah Thomas was the Celtics leading scorer with 27 points to go along with 4 assists, but he had his hands full all night with Ish Smith - who tallied 19 and 8 himself.
Detroit started strong, opening up a 5pt lead (16-11) midway through the 1st quarter, behind 7 points and 6 rebounds from Drummond. The Pistons center entered the game 2nd in the league in rebounds behind Heat big man Hassan Whiteside.
The C's managed to keep it tight to close the 1st with some offensive punch from Kelly Olynyk, who came off the bench and scored 10 in 6 minutes - 2 of 2 from three. The closed out the half 31-28, and we got to witness a some majestic ball movement and a stellar drive and dish from Jaylen Brown:
Jaylen Brown just made a driving assist to Kelly Olynyk that popped two assistant coaches up off the C's bench with applause and fist pumps.— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) December 1, 2016
Although Jaylen's nice play on the offensive end was pre-empted by this atrocity on the other end:
Nope nothing to see here folks move along move along pic.twitter.com/Wcms4KqXf0— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) December 1, 2016
The Pistons started to assert some dominance to start the 2nd, but a pair of Marcus Smart 3-pointers kept the C's close (45-42) with about 6 and a half minutes to go in the half. Then Isaiah Thomas took over the scoring duties, with 8 points in the final 6 minutes of the half - including a pair of threes and this drive with the 7'0 Drummond guarding the basket:
Thomas leans in and gets the tough reverse layup to go for the #Celtics. #NBARapidReplay https://t.co/SadOSxX4uC— NBA (@NBA) December 1, 2016
Thomas kept the C's afloat, but Detroit shot 52.2% in the half and headed into the locker room 59-53. The Pistons had a balanced attack in the first two quarters, three of their starters scored in double figures. Drummond finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds (4 offensive), on 4 of 6 from the field, and Tobias Harris notched 11 points (5/12) and 3 boards.
The C's lost the rebounding battle 25-19 in the first half, it would only get worse from there. Isaiah led the team with 16 points in 16 minutes. He was 6 of 11 from the field, 2 of 5 from deep. Avery Bradley had himself a rough start to the game, going 0-5 with no points at the half.
Brad Stevens seemed intent on keeping one of his two stars, Thomas and Al Horford, on the floor at all times in the first half:
Brad Stevens continues to stagger Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford on the floor. #CelticsTalk— Abby Chin (@tvabby) December 1, 2016
The third quarter started a lot like the 1st half - the Celtics and Pistons continued to trade baskets with little regard for getting stops on either side. That included a flurry a 3-pointers from both teams.
SHOOTOUT!!!!— Jay King (@ByJayKing) December 1, 2016
Thomas continued to carry the load for the Celtics, scoring 11 in the 3rd. He squirmed his way to the basket (or the free-throw line) again and again, but it was only enough to keep the C's in the game. They trailed 92-84 heading into the 4th.
The start of the 4th and the Celtics flashed some life. A 6-0 run that was capped off with a Jae Crowder breakaway dunk led to a Detroit timeout, and the Celtics trailed by 2 (94-92) with 7:42 to go. The Garden crowd awoke from what seemed like a game long slumber.
We've got ourselves a game on @NBATV! #Celitcs storm back to bring the game within 2 in the 4Q! #NBARapidReplay https://t.co/EztWJ9aVJ6— NBA (@NBA) December 1, 2016
Terry Rozier then made his mark with a fearless drive where he was fouled, sunk the basket, and hit the free-throw to put the Celts up for the first time since early in the 1st quarter (7:27 to go).
The hot stretch didn't last. Detroit answered back with 9 straight points, including a pair of threes from Marc Morris and Harris. They were back up 8 before a C's timeout with 5:08 to go. The Pistons would pull away from there until the closing moments of the game where the C's attempted a late and unlikely rally that was too little, and much too late.
The rebounding numbers and the overall defense were atrocious again, but there were a few bright spots in the loss. Isaiah scored 27 on 10-20, and Kelly Olynyk had his best game of the season with 19 points off the bench on an efficient 7 for 9 from the floor (3 of 4 from deep). It was a solid performance for Kelly to build on, but his 3 rebounds weren't exactly world-beating. He also still managed to pass up too many good looks, even with the hot hand:
The Celtics take on DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings Friday night at home. Still no word on whether Danny Ainge has attempted to kidnap Andre Drummond at the Garden, stay tuned.Kelly Olynyk's now 7 for 8 but it feels like he's passed up about 5 more good shots.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) December 1, 2016
Photo Credit - Celtics.com
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401 Mark Allison 11/30/2016 10:11:00 PM Tweet Edit