By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Celtics came up just short Friday falling to the Detroit Pistons 108-102. The loss drops Boston to 13-12 on the season.
In a true game of runs, the Celtics chased Piston leads throughout the night. They came close to catching them a few times throughout the night, but never were able to get over the hump.
Carrying Detroit was rookie Saddiq Bey. The 19th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft posted a double-double with a career-high 30 points and 12 rebounds. He didn’t miss from three, and his seven three pointers are the most ever in a single game by a rookie against the Celtics.
For the second-straight night, the Celtics grabbed control early thanks to a strong start from Semi Ojeleye. He had six of Boston’s first 12 points, and powered them to a quick 12-2 lead. However, Ojeleye’s impact would be brief, as he was ruled out of the game in the second half with a sore knee.
Semi's still on 🔥 from three pic.twitter.com/gogm4Owx5E— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 13, 2021
Unlike Thursday night where they held off the opponents initial run, the Celtics ended up on the wrong side of an 18-6 run, which saw Detroit take the lead late in the quarter on a Blake Griffin three. After 12 minutes, the Pistons led 27-23.
Boston grabbed the lead back early in the second quarter on five straight points from Jayson Tatum. But another big run by the Pistons, 21-8, put them in yet another hole. The Celtics clawed back a bit with a 13-4 run of their own to close the half, and went into the break down 54-52.
Despite getting within two points, the Celtics once again got beat by a dominant Pistons run. Detroit won the quarter 28-20 and took an 82-72 lead into the fourth.
A 10-2 run in the middle of the quarter got the C’s within five, but the Pistons promptly went back up by nine. With three and a half minutes to go, Tatum hit a pair of free throws to put the Celtics down four. He’d hit another basket at the two-minute mark to get them within three.
That’s as close as the Celtics would get though, as they were unable to capitalize on a pair of missed free throws from Detroit in the final 16 seconds. A Daniel Theis inbound pass that sailed over everybody’s heads and out of bounds with four seconds left sealed the result.
In the box score three Celtics finished in double figures. Tatum had a game-high 33 points to go with 11 rebounds and 7 assists. Jaylen Brown was right behind him with 27 points, six rebounds and two steals. Theis came up a rebound short of a double-double with 11 points and nine boards.
Next up, the Celtics head back on the road for a matchup with the Washington Wizards. That game tips off Sunday at 1:00 p.m., with pregame coverage starting at 12:30 on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com