Celtics foil Pistons comeback 91-81; losing streak at 6

DETROIT - The Boston Celtics held the Detroit Pistons scoreless for the first five minutes of the second half on the way to a 91-81 victory Sunday night — the Pistons’ sixth straight loss.

The Eastern Conference-leading Celtics (23-5) led by 18 points before the Pistons mounted another comeback that fell short.

• Box score

Ish Smith, who finished the game in place of an ineffective Reggie Jackson, scored a layup with 4:19 left that cut the deficit to 79-75.

But the Celtics scored on four of the next six possessions, the last a Marcus Smart runner, that pushed the lead to 89-80 and sent the Little Caesars Arena crowd to the exits.

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Photos: Celtics 91, Pistons 81

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Dec 10, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Celtics guard Kyrie

Dec 10, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Celtics guard Kyrie Irving dribbles while defended by Pistons forward Eric Moreland in the first half at Little Caesars Arena.  Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports

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Photos: Celtics 91, Pistons 81

The Pistons' (14-12) offense struggled most of the evening. They were below 30 percent shooting for a good portion of the game, finishing at 33.3 percent (28-for-84).

Tobias Harris scored 15 points, but no Pistons starter shot over 50 percent. Jackson and Andre Drummond combined to go 1-for-14.

Drummond grabbed 15 rebounds.

Anthony Tolliver scored 15 points and Smith added 11.

Al Horford scored 18 points, grabbed nine rebounds and added six assists for the Celtics. Kyrie Irving scored 16.

Former Piston Aron Baynes received the start for the Celtics and did an effective job limiting Drummond. Baynes also snatched 13 rebounds.

►Draymond Green: Little Caesars Arena isn't as loud as the Palace

First blow

The Celtics took control in the first half with a 13-0 run to take a 17-10 lead at the 6:10 mark of the first quarter.

Horford did most of the damage scoring the final eight points of the run in a myriad of ways with the highlight coming on a eurostep on the break for a layup.

The Pistons shot 0-for-5 from the field and committed one turnover in the stretch that was snapped by a Stanley Johnson 3-pointer.

►Jeff Seidel: To recapture early glory, Pistons must stop wasting chances

The rotation

Johnson exited shortly after the 3-pointer and never returned in the first half.

After Boban Marjanovic played well in Friday’s home loss to the Golden State Warriors, Van Gundy went back to Eric Moreland against the Celtics and he played well.

Moreland grabbed three offensive rebounds and added two steals and two blocked shots.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2018. All Rights Reserved


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