Ford Keys to the Game: Pistons 90, Celtics 101

Ford Keys to the Game

Pistons 90, Celtics 101

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal hobbles off of the court in the early stages of the second quarter after straining his right calf.
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

The Celtics’ largest lead during tonight’s 101-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons was 18, and the process of building that lead was ignited by Paul Pierce. The Captain had one of the more efficient scoring nights of his season, and a chunk of his points came during the game’s most important stretch.

Boston had pulled ahead by seven points midway through the third period when Ray Allen drilled a 3-pointer, but that lead quickly dwindled back down to three after Will Bynum scored four straight points for the Pistons. That spurt by Bynum took this game right back to the nick-and-tuck state it had been in nearly all night long, but Pierce’s quick response changed that almost immediately.

Less than 30 seconds after Bynum hit his 3-pointer, The Truth hit one of his own at the other end to double the Celtics’ lead back up to six. Then, after Bynum turned the ball over on Detroit’s next possession, Pierce took an outlet pass from Rajon Rondo and slammed it home for fast break two points, giving him a total of five points in just 20 seconds of play.

Glen Davis went on to score Boston's next bucket, assisted by Pierce, after Richard Hamilton missed a jumper for Detroit. That basket gave the Celtics a 74-64 lead with 4:02 remaining in the third.

Pierce had some help from Davis, who accounted for an assist, a steal and two points during that run, but the captain was certainly the driving force in Boston’s 8-0 surge. That run, which took only 48 seconds to complete, put the Celtics up by double-digits for the first time in the second half and they ran away with the game from there.

Key Box Score Line

One of Doc Rivers’ favorite things to do after a game is to look at the box score and see that Kevin Garnett led his team in shot attempts. He was afforded such an opportunity tonight, because the Big Ticket asserted himself at the offensive end.

Garnett finished tonight’s game with a team-high 14 shot attempts and led the Celtics in scoring with 23 points. He made 10 of those 14 shots, and many of them came inside the paint rather than from the perimeter via his jump shot. KG also pulled in a game-high eight boards, two of which were at the offensive end, and made all three of his free throw attempts.

Boston had one of the best scoring nights in the paint that it has experienced in quite a while, and Garnett was the most important reason why. As his 14 shot attempts would indicate, he was ready to go to work tonight at the offensive end, and Detroit had no answer for him.

Box Score Nuggets

  • None of Boston's starters played more than 34 minutes.
  • The Celtics shot 7-of-11 from 3-point range.
  • Kevin Garnett recorded game highs of 23 points and eight rebounds.
  • The Celtics outrebounded the Pistons by a count of 37-26.
  • Detroit committed only nine turnovers, but they led to 15 Boston points.
  • The Pistons did not block a shot in the game.
  • Paul Pierce scored 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
  • Detroit (80) attempted 16 more shots than the Celtics (64).
  • Rajon Rondo dished out a game-high 14 assists, nearly triple the amount of any Pistons player.
  • The Pistons shot just 42.5 percent in the game.
  • Boston totaled 30 assists on 41 made field goals.
  • In his first game back after missing two months, Shaquille O'Neal scored six points and grabbed a rebound in 5:29 of playing time before leaving with a strained right calf.
  • No Pistons player grabbed more than five rebounds, while four Celtics grabbed at least six
  • Delonte West notched his second straight five-assist game and also scored 10 points off of the bench.
  • Glen Davis scored 11 points, grabbed six rebounds and finished with a game-high three steals.
  • Will Bynum led the Pistons in scoring with 20 points.
  • The Celtics shot 64.1 percent as a team.
  • In all four games against Boston this season, exactly five Pistons scored in double-figures.
  • Bynum was the only Pistons starter to commit a turnover, and he finished with four.
  • Boston's largest lead was 18 points, while Detroit's was just three.
  • Boston's starters accounted for 16 of the team's 19 committed turnovers. The team had 21 total turnovers in the game.
  • The teams combined to score 94 points in the paint, 48 by Boston and 46 by Detroit.
  • Both teams attempted 17 free throws.

Quote of the Night

Jermaine O'Neal on Shaquille O'Neal's injury: "Man, he seemed to be in good spirits when he left, and I think he may be out there on Tuesday, but we’ll see. He was laughing and joking, I think it was more of a scare for the guys on the team and the fans of the Celtics."