The Boston Celtics were able to fend off a furious charge from the Detroit Pistons in the 4th quarter and cling to a 113-109 victory. Stop me if you've heard this before, but Isaiah Thomas came up HUGE for the Celtics down the stretch. The resident King of the Fourth scored 24 points in the final frame (41 for the game) and basically single-handedly held off the Pistons' comeback. Isaiah scored the final 11 points for the Celtics.
Andre Drummond was a monster for the Pistons, scoring 28 points and tallying 22 rebounds. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope chipped in 18 points and the Pistons out-rebounded the C's 51-44, but it wasn't enough to make up for their shooting woes from the outside - 3 for 27 from three (11.1%).
The Celtics were once again without Avery Bradley (sore achilles) and Jaylen Brown started in his place. Al Horford returned after missing Saturday's game, and Jonas Jerebko, Jae Crowder, and Isaiah Thomas made up the rest of the C's starters. Horford announced his presence with authority less than a minute into the game:
Al Horford announces his return to the starting lineup with a bang! pic.twitter.com/Hf8kVrSWHk— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 31, 2017
The Pistons would lead by as many as 6 in the 1st quarter, but the Celtics finished the frame strong on a 7-0 run - including a big three from Marcus Smart as time expired.
Marcus Smart closes out the 1Q by cashing in a 3 at the shot-clock buzzer to give the Celtics a 26-25 lead over the Pistons. Crowder: 9 pts.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 31, 2017
The Celtics managed to extend their lead in the 2nd, behind some solid defense - holding the Pistons to 21 points for the quarter. The Pistons were intent on getting the ball inside to Drummond, and they had a ton of success in doing so. Although Horford go the best of him on this exchange:
Al Horford rejects Drummond at the rim! pic.twitter.com/253LZHrbA9— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 31, 2017
Al followed up that block with a three-pointer in the closing seconds to put the Celtics up 54-46 heading into the break. Drummond finished the half with 10 points and 9 rebounds, and Isaiah led the Celtics with 13 points and 5 assists.
In the 3rd quarter the Pistons continued to go inside to Drummond, as he doubled his first half effort in the 3rd alone. He finished the quarter with another 9 boards and 11 more points, but the Celtics were able to maintain their lead behind 8 points from Crowder:
Jae Crowder is up to 18 points and six boards and the Celtics lead the Pistons 79-70 after three quarters.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 31, 2017
The Pistons made a charge in the 4th, they started shooting 80% and blasted off a 19-5 run to take a 3 point lead with just over 6 minutes to go in the quarter. Isaiah Thomas answered with a pair of threes for Boston to knot the score at 96, and you could tell it was the 4th quarter. After a pair of free-throws by Caldwell-Pope, Isaiah answered yet again with an And-1 back on his offensive end. That marked 9 straight points from the little guy and 13 for the quarter:
Isaiah Thomas with the big and-one bucket! pic.twitter.com/msQqg0PaKq— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 31, 2017
After the two teams traded buckets Isaiah came around a screen and buried yet another 3 off a pass from in the post from Horford to ignite the Garden crowd yet again, and put the Celtics up 107-103 with 2:28 in the game - he wasn't done. Another bucket and Isaiah had an even 20 more than doubling his total from the rest of the game:
4th quarter Isaiah Thomas outscoring 1st-through-3rd quarter Isaiah Thomas, 20-17, with 1:39 left.— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) January 31, 2017
Isaiah ended the game scoring the final 11 points for the Celtics, and thwarted a Pistons rally that saw them almost crawl out of a 9 point 4th quarter deficit. King of the Fourth indeed.
Photo Credit - Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
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Mark Allison 1/30/2017 10:51:00 PM Tweet Edit