The Boston Celtics are currently in the midst of their longest winning streak this season, looking for their ninth straight victory. They will hope to do that as they battle the Detroit Pistons at the Little Caesars Arena. The Pistons, however, are facing the complete opposite situation. They are trying to find a way to put an end to what is now a six-game skid.
The Celtics and the Pistons have played each other an inclusive total of 420 times in the past as Detroit Pistons won 156 games while the Boston team went on to win 264 matchups. This meeting between the two teams will mark the third of four times that the Celtics and Pistons will battle each other during this season.
The last time they saw each other was on October 30 when the Celtics pulled out a 108-105 victory. During that game, Kyrie scored 31 points, pulled down 5 rebounds, dished off 5 assists, and committed one steal while Blake Griffin finished with 24 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, and one block.
-Jabari Bird (personal)
-Al Horford (knee; 12.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 3.4 APG, 49.1 FG%, 34.1 3P%, 70.0 FT%)
-Guerschon Yabusele (ankle; 1.8 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.4 APG, 32.0 FG%, 20.0 3P%, 87.5 FT%)
-Semi Ojeleye (coach’s decision; 3.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.1 APG, 39.7 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 63.6 FT%)
-Brad Wanamaker (coach’s decision; 3.2 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, 48.1 FG%, 44.4 3P%, 83.3 FT%)
-PJ Dozier (G-League; 3.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
-Henry Ellenson (ankle; 6.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 40.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Zaza Pachulia (illness; 4.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 38.6 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 80.3 FT%)
-Glenn Robinson (ankle; 4.8 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 39.0 FG%, 30.6 3P%, 84.6 FT%)
-Ish Smith (groin; 9.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, 41.5 FG%, 32.9 3P%, 66.7 FT%)
-Khyri Thomas (coach’s decision; 1.8 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.6 APG, 33.3 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-Keenan Evans (G-League)
-Zach Lofton (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
With both the Pistons and the Celtics having something to prove, they played hard in the first half, shooting in the low 50-percents. Kyrie Irving would get hot as he scored 17 of Boston’s 56 first-half points. He nailed a three-pointer in the middle of the first period while recording 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Marcus Morris, who is averaging a career-high 15 points per game this season, was kept to just seven points in the 15 minutes that he played in the first half, finishing the game with a sum of nine points.
Jayson Tatum, Aron Baynes, and Marcus Smart all chipped in with six points each while Smart earned his from beyond the arc. Gordon Hayward, who is still trying to bounce back from a nasty injury he endured in last season’s opener, played the most minutes off the bench but was kept to just two points.
On the other end of the floor, Blake Griffin put up 11 points on 36 percent shooting, including a trey in the first period. Reggie Bullock, who missed the last five games due to an ankle injury, drilled two three-pointers and a free-throw to earn himself seven points. Andre Drummond had 5 points in the first half but grabbed 6 rebounds and blocked one shot while recording one assist and one steal. Langston Galloway played 15 minutes off the bench as he chalked up 10 points, helping the home team gain a 57-56 lead at halftime.
The Detroit Pistons would be about business in the second half as they went on a 56 to 48 run, shooting 46 percent from the field. Griffin added 16 more points to his scoring total while earning four defensive rebounds and two assists. He did, however, have five turnovers. Andre Drummond contributed with 14 points while going up for 14 boards and preventing 3 shots from going in. Jose Calderon, who is averaging a career-low two points a game this season, played the most minutes off the bench but was kept to just three points.
As for the Massachusetts team, Marcus Smart lit the floor up with 15 points while hitting three treys. He also had 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals while Tatum helped out with 11 points. Irving struggled in the last half as he was limited to just nine points on 23 percent shooting. Hayward had four points off the bench but it wouldn’t matter much as the Pistons held on to end the Celtics’ eight-game winning streak, 113-104. Blake Griffin finished the game with 27 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and one steal while Kyrie Irving had 26 points, a season-high-tying 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
The Boston Celtics will host T.J. Warren (18.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 52.1 FG%, 44.4 3P%) and the Phoenix Suns (5-24) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. This matchup will mark the second and final meeting between these two ball clubs this season. November 8 was the last time they met up as the Celtics escaped with a 116 to 109 victory. Kyrie Irving finished that game with 39 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, and one block while Devin Booker settled for 38 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 steals.
The Detroit Pistons will host Giannis Antetokounmpo (26.6 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 6.1 APG, 58.2 FG%, 13.1 3P%) and the Milwaukee Bucks (19-9) on Monday at 7:00 p.m. This will be the second of four games that these two teams will play against each other this season. The last time they battled each other was on December 5 when the Pistons fell to the Bucks, 92-115. During that game, Eric Bledsoe scored 27 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, dished off 4 assists, and committed 3 steals while Blake Griffin had 31 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and one block.