Through the first three quarters against the Boston Celtics early Sunday night, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson (who had zero made field goals for the game) combined for just two points, so it wasn’t surprising the Pistons - losers of five straight games coming in - were down by 14 going into the fourth.
The Pistons bench played with energy, and knocked down just enough shots to keep the team within hailing distance. Anthony Tolliver scored six field goals, while Ish Smith carved up the Celtics defense during much of his 15 minutes of second-half playing time. Luke Kennard and Eric Moreland’s play was, at times, encouraging as well.
Stan Van Gundy sent out spark plug Boban Marjanovic to begin the fourth quarter, but the Pistons only made a two-point dent in the Celtics’ lead the five minutes that Boban saw action. Ish and Tobias Harris then took over for a bit, leading the Pistons on a 12-0 run, drawing them to within four. Unfortunately, the Celtics started executing crisply and drained just enough shots to fend off the Pistons last gasp. It really shouldn’t have been as close as it was, though, as the Celtics missed a ton of open jump shots in the second half.
Friend of the program Aron Baynes did a rock solid job on the boards, corralling 13 rebounds to go with his six points, playing good fundamental defense for most of his 27 minutes. Al Horford had a nice all-around effort with 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Detroit got only 44 points from their starters.
The Pistons have a home date this Tuesday against the 14-12 Denver Nuggets before they go on a road back-to-back later in the week against the Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers.