The Boston Celtics won their second game in a row, defeating the Detroit Pistons, 109-99, at Little Cesars Arena Saturday night. The Boston bench had a huge effort in the win.
In basketball, momentum doesn’t always travel. But the Boston Celtics made sure it did Saturday, dominating the previously undefeated Detroit Pistons, 109-89, two nights after a 16-point second half comeback in Oklahoma City.
In the second half against the Thunder, the Celtics finally found an offensive flow, stopped settling for contested shots early in the shot clock, shared the rock, and (Thank Basketball Jesus!) finally made some open shots.
Boston packed that potion with them in the airplane’s overhead storage and brought it to Detroit. The poor Pistons didn’t stand a chance.
The Celtics led 63-41 at the half and kept a double digit for almost the entirety of the final three quarters. Boston led by as many as 26 points in the second quarter, after a 12-point run from the Boston bench.
Boston had 15 assists on 19 made field goals in the first half. The ball was moving side-to-side and touching the paint like we haven’t seen all season. It’s no wonder why the Celtics finally made their shots.
Kyrie had just 3 points on 1-of-5 shooting in the game, but it was actually one of his best games of the young season He ran the offense expertly and unselfishly, dishing 5 assists in 23 minutes and manipulating the defense in many ways that won’t show up in the box score.
Irving also showed grit on defense, challenging Griffin when he switched onto him, and helping others when they had the task. He grabbed 7 defensive rebounds, helping the Celtics control the boards against the Pistons, who entered play as the top offensive rebounding team in the league, grabbing more than 36 percent of their own misses.
Boston out-rebounded Detroit, 54-47, including 8-6 on the offensive glass. Griffin didn’t have a single offensive rebound. Andre Drummond was held to two, after averaging 6 per game in his first four games.
Struggling with his shot early in the season, Jaylen Brown led the team with 19 points, including 14 first half points. He made all three of his three-pointers in the first half. Gordon Hayward chipped in 15 points in 23 minutes.
Here are the three keys to the win for Boston, which improves to 4-2 on the season and wins back-to-back games for the first time all season.