The Detroit Pistons trailed by as many as 13 points in an ugly game in which they turned the ball over as many times as they assisted baskets (18), but another strong fourth quarter performance helped them come back and swipe one from the Boston Celtics, 99-94.
The first three quarters were a little maddening with turnovers, technicals, missed shots, more missed shots and whistles. Incidentally, the following are all taken from the fourth quarter -- and two from the same reaction! -- but it gives us a perfect recap of how I felt as the game wore on:
A foul? Abakingpowder? pic.twitter.com/zFxWUur3YD— Detroit Bad Boys ☠ (@detroitbadboys) January 7, 2016
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! #Pistons https://t.co/pyWTh79PDZ— Tas Melas (@TasMelas) January 7, 2016
The Pistons turned the ball over six times and shot 32 percent in the third quarter (14 percent from three). The Celtics were surprisingly even worse at 22 percent from the field (ZERO from three at 0-8). 15 of the quarter's 38 points came from the charity stripe. Andre Drummond also air balled a free throw, so it was a fun quarter.
But then the fourth quarter started.
4th quarter comeback time...— Detroit Bad Boys ☠ (@detroitbadboys) January 7, 2016
The Pistons scored five quick points to pull within four and it was Drummond, limited early in the game due to foul trouble, who helped lead the team to their first lead of the game since the 10-minute mark of the first quarter with six points in the middle of a 12-5 run.
The Pistons would go up six, 88-82, but the Celtics fought back and reclaimed the lead with 2:47 left after Isaiah Thomas scored seven straight. Reggie Jackson answered with five straight of his own. Stanley Johnson's three-pointer with 58 seconds felt like it sealed it, even though the Celtics had a chance to keep it to a single possession, but missed 2-of-4 free throws and couldn't get a rebound off a Jackson miss on the ensuing possession.
Jackson led the Pistons with 24 points, nine of those coming in the fourth. Johnson had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Thomas led the Celtics with 22 after starting 2-for-16 shooting. Amazingly, he was the only Celtics player to score a point in the game's final EIGHT MINUTES (and 37 seconds). He scored 15 points in that span, but missed three key free throws.
This win, and Orlando's loss earlier in the night, pushes the Pistons to No. 7 in the Eastern Conference standings at 20-16. The Pistons are off two days and back at it again on Saturday against the Nets at The Palace.