Celtics handle Pistons 118-110, head into All-Star break on high note
From the NBA Newswire at 985TheSportsHub.com
The Celtics followed up a potentially galvanizing road win over the 76ers with a 118-110 home victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night, taking a 36-21 record into the All-Star break. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 19 points as the C’s spread the wealth offensively, notching six players in double-figures.
A roller-coaster first quarter started off with an 8-2 run by the C’s to begin the game, followed by a 22-5 run for the Pistons, followed by a 15-5 run for the Celtics to close the quarter at 29-28 Detroit.
The Celtics carried that momentum into the second quarter, building a 40-31 lead – but the roller coaster continued. Detroit battled back to take a 52-51 lead late in the quarter before the C’s recovered and took a 57-52 lead to the locker room at halftime.
The Pistons’ Blake Griffin dominated the first half, leading all scorers with 20 points. Hayward continued his hot shooting from Tuesday night in Philadelphia as he led the Celtics with 11. He finished with 18 points on 5-for-8 from the field, 5 rebounds, and 8 assists.
In the third quarter, with the Celtics up 72-60, the Pistons’ Andre Drummond committed an egregious flop caught by the NBC Sports Boston cameras. Drummond’s head shot back despite no contact with the Celtics’ Daniel Theis, then the big man tumbled several feet toward an official to attempt to draw the foul.
What do you think Celtics fans? pic.twitter.com/HY4jfD3Iwu— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) February 14, 2019
Officials initially handed Theis a technical foul to go with Drummond’s fourth personal foul of the game. The play stood after review, with the Celtics coming out of it netting a point to go up 74-61. But the whole scene was emblematic of another questionable night of officiating.
The Celtics only built their lead from there, taking a 91-72 lead into the fourth quarter. Marcus Smart caught fire in the third, scoring 14 points on 5-for-6 from the field, including 4-for-5 from three-point range. He finished with 16 on the night.
The Pistons battled back to make it a nine-point game, but it was too little too late as the C’s hit their free throws down the stretch. Al Horford dominated both ends of the floor in the win, scoring 17 points to go with 14 rebounds and a plus-26, easily the best rating of anyone on either team.
Boston returns from the All-Star break next Thursday night, when they take the floor in Milwaukee to face the Bucks.
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