The battle between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference featured some familiar foes. In his first trip back to Boston, Avery Bradley was treated to a video tribute with Celtics highlights before the game. Detroit also got their first chance to play against former Pistons Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes.
The Pistons got off to a hot start shooting 12-20 from the field in the 1st quarter. Detroit used a 12-2 run to take a 16-6 lead. Andre Drummond led the way with 10 rebounds in the quarter. The Celtics scored the first 8 points of the 2nd quarter to tie the game, and the game remained close for the rest of the half. The Pistons went into the half having scored 60 points and gave up 57 on the defensive end.
The Celtics kept attacking on offense, hitting five 3 pointers in the 3rd quarter. Tobias Harris responded with 14 of his 31 points to help keep Detroit close. The game was tied at 86 headed into the 4th quarter.
With both teams trading the lead back and forth, it was Andre Drummond who took over down the stretch. With the game tied at 100, Drummond slowly backed down Al Horford and scored easily in the paint. He followed that up with back to back 3 point plays, including one off an inbound steal, to help Detroit pull away. Marcus Smart finally got cold and missed a few long 3 point attempts. Drummond put the game away with a rebound and 2 free throws with 28.8 seconds left.
The Pistons outrebounded the Celtics 40-36, took better care of the ball with only 8 turnovers to Boston’s 17, and shot better from the foul line (19-23 for Detroit, 12-21 for Boston). That was enough for the Pistons to walk away as the 2nd team to win in Boston this season, 118-108.
Detroit was led by Andre Drummond’s 26 points, 22 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals. He was efficient from the field (10-12) and from the line (6-8). Tobias Harris was 11-16 from the field, and 5-6 from behind the 3 point line, on the way to a 31 point and 8 rebound performance. Reggie Jackson had 20 points and 7 assists. Boston had 6 players score in double figures and were led by the 23 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds of Marcus Smart. Kyrie Irving had 18 points and 9 assists, but also had 6 turnovers and 5 personal fouls.
Notes: The Pistons improved to 13-6 on the season, and 6-4 on the road. Detroit won both games on this road trip. The next game is at Little Caesars Arena Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns.