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Must Cs: Kemba Walker accepts blame for Celtics’ recent struggles

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“It starts with me. I have to do better.”

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NBA: Detroit Pistons at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons shot 60% for the first time since 2012 in a breakout performance against the Celtics. Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown combined to shoot 21-for-31 with stellar scoring performances. Still, Boston couldn’t manage to stop Svi Mykhailiuk from scoring from 61 feet at the end of the third quarter.

Brad Stevens pulled the plug with under three minutes remaining, as Derrick Rose and Sekou Doumbouya ran wild for a 21-for-26 night between the two of them.

It stood in stark contrast to the Celtics and Pistons meeting in December, where Brown and Jayson Tatum combined for over 50 points and the C’s unleashed Tacko Time for the first time all season. Boston was 16-1 against sub-.500 teams then, now everybody is attacking their defense with confidence.

“We have to get back to being the seeker and not the seeked,” Brown said. Read more post-game reaction below.

Brad Stevens: “We’ve had some less-than-stellar performances in the last few weeks.”

Jayson Tatum sat against the Bucks, pressing Brad Stevens to find other options to complement Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown — who themselves thrived offensively in the loss. Semi Ojeleye, Javonte Green and Romeo Langford pitched in eight points in relatively positive minutes. Defense downed the Celtics, though, with balls flying over their head in transition, cuts and layups. “I’m guessing they had 20 points on those, maybe more. Right there you’re probably getting beat in most NBA games.”

Kemba Walker: “Tonight, we were just a step slow.”

Walker stood with a hood on, talking quietly and repeating his intention to watch the film to figure out a frustrating loss to a Pistons team Boston trounced in December. He blamed himself for the team’s recent struggles, with the C’s losing three out of their last five games to sub-.500 teams. He said frustration could be playing into missteps. “It’s not pressure. We just have to be better ... I just have to be more energized when I get in the game and just have my guys ready to go.”

Jaylen Brown: “I sprained my right thumb.”

Brown did not receive any tests on his right thumb after it collided with Markieff Morris, since the Celtics take off for Milwaukee tonight. He’ll see how it feels in the morning and determine his availability for the Bucks game then. “I don’t think it’s too bad.”

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