Celtics fall in a hard-fought contest, 107-106

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics took the Pistons all the way down to the wire on Wednesday night, before falling 107-106.





The result may be disappointing for Celtics fans, but Wednesday night's loss to the Pistons was a clear sign of how far this team has come. Having dropped a contest to Detroit earlier in the year, the Celtics played the Pistons tough all the way down to the wire, even having a shot to win at the game's final buzzer

This team has improved immensely in a short period of time, even if they still have a lot to work on.  Some ill-advised turnovers, poor shot selection throughout the second half (including a paltry 2-of-12 shooting from behind the arc after the first quarter), and a remarkable game from Brandon Jennings did the Celtics in tonight.
  • The Celtics started fast for the third straight game, jumping out to a 21-10 lead and scoring 42 first quarter points, the second-most points scored by a NBA team in a single quarter this season. They shot 69.6% from the field in the opening 12 minutes and held Detroit to just 38.1%.
  • Once again, though, Boston relinquished its early lead, scoring just 39 points over the next two quarters and allowing the Pistons back into the game. Detroit went on a 17-4 run at one point in the third and benefited from seven Celtics turnover during the quarter.
  • Even with a distinct disadvantage in size, the Celtics stood toe-to-toe with the Pistons in the paint for much of the contest. They out-rebounded Detroit (41 to 36) and scored 54 points in the paint to the Pistons' 52. Not bad against a team with a trio of effective big men.
  • He may have a poor reputation, but Brandon Jennings was a handful all night for the Celtics.  The point guard finished with 28 points and 14 assists and actually shot the ball fairly efficiently, making nine of his 21 shots, including five of eight three-point attempts.
  • It was a tough loss (especially given Boston's early lead), but it's obvious how much progress the Celtics have made since the start of the season. After scoring just 77 points against Detroit back in November, the C's dropped 105 against a Pistons team that had won five of six games on the road, including a win over Miami.
The Celtics no doubt had their chances, and despite two opportunities to take the lead at the end of the game, they never really got a good look for the win.  What really hurt this team tonight was a sloppy stretch in the second half and 18 turnovers that led to 30 Pistons points. Boston's balance remains impressive, as seven different players notched double figures in points, and Jared Sullinger again looked like a force down on the block despite a tough matchup with Andre Drummond.

With three days off until their next game against the Wizards, Brad Stevens and the Celtics should have plenty of time (and perhaps a trade?) to help correct things before they next take the court.

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