For the first time since Nov. 24, the Boston Celtics have tacked on to their loss column.
The Celtics had their win streak halted at eight Saturday night with a 113-104 loss to the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. After a back-and-forth affair in the first half, the Pistons began to make some noise in the third quarter and withstood the Celtics’ rally in the fourth.
Kyrie Irving posted a team-high 26 points, but he was one of just four Celtics to score in double figures. It was the usual suspects leading the charge for Detroit, as Blake Griffin (27 points, eight rebounds, six assists) and Andre Drummond (19 points, 20 rebounds) both shined.
With the loss, the Celtics fell to 18-11, while the Pistons improved to 14-13.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Marcus Morris
C: Aron Baynes
It was a sound and exciting opening frame, which saw both sides shoot 61.9 percent from the field and concluded with a 33-33 tie. Irving was up to his usual tactics in the early going, pacing all scorers with nine points including this crafty drive to the basket:
Baynes (six points) also turned in a sharp first-quarter effort, knocking down all three of his shots, while Morris provided five points and three assists. Griffin, Reggie Bullock and Luke Kennard led the way for the Pistons with seven points apiece. Both clubs also were strong from distance, as Boston knocked down four of its seven first-quarter 3-point attempts, while Detroit buried four of six.
BACK AND FORTH
The Pistons flirted with extending their lead to double digits at various points in the second quarter, but the Celtics prevented the home team from creating sizable separation. The two sides traded baskets throughout the back end of the frame, with Detroit taking a 57-56 lead into the break.
Irving turned in another strong quarter, pacing the C’s with eight to lead all scorers at the half with 17. Langston Galloway carried the load for the Pistons off the bench, notching 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. The two teams nearly featured identical shooting marks again, but Detroit (52.4 percent) just narrowly edged Boston (52.2) through two quarters.
C’S WEATHER STORM
After trading baskets through the first three and a half minutes of the third quarter, the Pistons began to pull away with an 11-0 run to swell their lead to 10. Detroit stretched its advantage to as large as 14 in the frame, but a pair of Smart 3-pointers with less than a minute to play in the third cut the deficit to 85-78 heading into the final quarter.
The Pistons’ star big men led the way in the third, as Griffin provided 10 points while Drummond notched eight. Smart was the high man for the C’s with seven points, but he was the lone bright spot in the third for the visitors as the rest of the team combined for just 15 points in the quarter.
PISTONS HANG ON
Detroit kept its foot on the gas in the fourth, opening up the frame with a 10-1 run to stretch its lead to 16. It largely was an ugly fourth quarter, though, as both sides went without a made field goal from the 9:20 mark until Galloway sailed in for a layup at 5:22.
Boston made things a little interesting when a Smart 3-pointer and Gordon Hayward layup trimmed the deficit to seven with just under four minutes to play, but Detroit responded with a 7-0 run. The Pistons proceeded to withstand some strong pressure from the Celtics in the final minutes to preserve the win.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Drummond was not about to be put on a poster by Tatum.
The Celtics kick off a four-game homestand Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns. Tip off from TD Garden is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports