BOSTON – Marcus Smart hardly played in his return from an ankle sprain, but a rejuvenated Kelly Olynyk got his groove backas his 20 points helped catapult the Celtics to a 109-102 win over the Detroit Pistons. Olynyk was benched due to foul trouble late in the fourth, which gave the Pistons just enough time to come back and force overtime. But Jared Sullinger came alive in the extra time to put Detroit away.
After failing to reach double digits four consecutive games, the second-year big man out of Gonzaga had a huge third and fourth quarter, where he scored 12 of his 20 points. More importantly, he kept a red-hot Andre Drummond ineffective in the fourth quarter while he was on the floor.
But the scoring did come from expected sources, as Jeff Green drained six three-pointers and hit all 10 of his free throws en route to his second 30-point game of the season.
Dropping leads has become a habit for Boston , but it was surprisingly the second unit that played deep into the fourth quarter and was responsible for expanding a narrow lead. But when Olynyk hit the bench after picking up his fifth foul, Greg Monroe went on an 11-point run on his own to make it a one-possession game with less than a minute remaining.
But in the most ironic of ways, the crunch-time bleeding was stopped when Jeff Green drew a foul driving at Caron Butler going to his left. Those words have never been written before.
Rajon Rondo’s bad pass as the clock ran down led to a turnover and an eventual foul on Jared Sullinger, which sent Andre Drummond to the line with a chance to tie it. Drummond missed the first before the second free throw strongly considered falling out before succumbing to temptation.
With the final possession and a tie game, Jeff Green made a good drive around Caron butler to get a solid finger roll off before the buzzer. But Andre Drummond laughed at his feeble attempt to win a game and nearly swatted the ball into the courtside seats.
Overtime was a cathartic experience of sorts for Brad Stevens, as he watched his Celtics get multiple stops while draining threes as a half empty stadium made It sound like a playoff game in the Jungle.
As Greg Monroe’s second half dominance continued, the Pistons hung around as long as they could. But Jared Sullinger’s three-point barrage eventually sunk the second-worst team in the NBA.
Just when it looked like the win was sewn up, Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope unleashed a quick fury that made it a three-point game with 19.2 seconds left.
But Jared Sullinger iced the game at the line and the Celtics survived one of their biggest scares of the season.
The Garden Report breaks down Jeff Green's 32-point outing as well as Kelly Olynyk's return from slumping. Part 2 takes a look at Brad Stevens decision to keep Rajon Rondo on the bench during critical moments in the game, and Boxing Out and Baller of the Night awards are handed out.
Be sure to like The Garden Report on Facebook and like and comment on each episode to get in the conversation!
Is Jeff Green finally consistent?
This poll is closed
Yes, he's looked aggressive all season
Too early to tell, but so far so good
He needs to average at least 20ppg
No, this is fools gold