Celtics Wrap: Boston’s Road Streak Snapped In 119-116 Loss To Pistons

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It wasn’t exactly Golden State Warriors-esque, but the Boston Celtics had a pretty impressive streak going.

Boston entered Wednesday’s contest against the Detroit Pistons having won 10 straight road games at the tail end of back-to-backs, a run that dated to last season’s All-Star break. That all came to an end at the Palace at Auburn Hills, where the Pistons held off the Celtics in a long, offense-filled affair to earn a 119-116 win.

Isaiah Thomas led a resurgent Celtics offense with 38 points, tying a career high, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope victimized Boston’s defense with a career-high 31 points while Reggie Jackson added 23. Pistons big man Andre Drummond (16 points and 12 rebounds) and Jared Sullinger (17 points, 10 boards) both tallied double-doubles.

Boston trailed by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter and rallied to cut the deficit to one, but some key free throws from Caldwell-Pope and Jackson helped Detroit escape with the win.

STARTING FIVE
Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Jared Sullinger

REMEMBER ME?
Amir Johnson began his NBA career with the Pistons. He began Wednesday night dominating them.

The Celtics forward, who was drafted by Detroit in 2005, was all over the place in the first quarter, racking up a team-high nine points on 4 of 7 shooting while adding three rebounds, a steal and a block. The Pistons, particularly Drummond, are a very good rebounding team, but that didn’t stop Johnson early on:

https://vine.co/v/imDWrKbAEH5

RUNNING WILD
The second quarter was a game of runs.

The Pistons went first, as their bench unit, which entered the game averaging an NBA-worst 23 points per game, ripped off a 9-0 run thanks to six points from backup big man Aron Baynes.

That erased the lead Boston had established in the first quarter, but the C’s responded right away. Thomas assisted Johnson for a pretty slam dunk then promptly scored seven straight points of his own to lead Boston on an 11-0 run.

https://vine.co/v/imDJWPzZZOn

HACK-A-DRUMMOND
Boston struggled early in the third quarter to fall into an 11-point deficit, so Brad Stevens had his players just start intentionally fouling Drummond.

Stevens’ “Hack-A-Drummond” strategy slowed the game to a crawl, but it was somewhat successful. The Pistons big man, a career 39 percent free throw shooter, went 3 for 6 in three consecutive trips to the line, allowing the Celtics to cut their deficit to five.

ZELLER OFF THE BENCH
Tyler Zeller got some rare action in the third quarter, and he made quite the impact.

The normally nonexistent Celtics forward helped the Celtics make it a game heading into the fourth with some efficient play on the offensive end. He recorded 10 points on 4 of 6 shooting in just six minutes of action to close out the quarter, including this nice turnaround hook shot in the lane:

https://vine.co/v/imDPvgEdrvg

OUT OF GAS
Boston’s offense sputtered early in the fourth quarter. Caldwell-Pope and the Pistons took advantage.

The Celtics didn’t record a point for nearly four minutes of action, while Detroit’s leading scorer continued knocking down shots to give the Pistons a double-digit lead.

A trio of clutch Jonas Jerebko 3-pointers made it a game down the stretch, but Jackson took over from there, scoring 14 of Detroit’s final 18 points.

PLAY OF THE NIGHT
Drummond finished the first half with a bang.

https://vine.co/v/imDv259apvM

UP NEXT
The Celtics are back in Boston on Friday night to take on the Atlanta Hawks, who stand at 15-12 after beating the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. Tipoff at TD Garden is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Leon Halip/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) looks to drive the ball to the basket as Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) defends at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
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