One play had the potential to decide the result of Wednesday night’s game between the Celtics and Pistons.
Luckily for Boston, that play wound up in the hands of Charlie Villanueva.
Detroit called for timeout with 29.5 seconds remaining in the game as it trailed by three points. It had many options out of that timeout, including a quick 2-pointer in an attempt to extend the game or a 3-pointer to try to tie the game. The Pistons chose the latter, and they had a few openings to take the shot.
Detroit inbounded the ball and moved it swiftly around the 3-point arc. Rodney Stuckey, the Pistons’ top scorer on the night with 22 points, had a look at the basket from the top of the key but he rightfully and unselfishly decided that there was a better look to be found.
Stuckey went on to give a shot fake that put tension on Boston’s defensive rotation. Following that fake, no one on the Celtics’ defense was guarding the corner 3. Stuckey realized that and dished the ball to Villanueva for what was, for the most part, an uncontested 3-pointer.
Anyone who was watching this game knew that the shot was not going to fall. Villanueva had an absolutely terrible night shooting the basketball. Prior to that shot, he was 2-for-15 from the field, including an 0-for-6 performance from downtown. His confidence was about as low as it could be as he took that shot. On the other end of the spectrum was Boston’s confidence, which had to be sky high when it saw Villanueva fire up the shot.
Sure enough, the former UConn star’s 3-pointer bounced around the rim and fell into the hands of Jeff Green. Green was fouled and Jason Terry went on to seal the game with two free throws, giving the C’s a 98-93 victory.
Key Box Score Line
Jeff Green may have soared in the scoring column but Brandon Bass put together one heck of a box score. He was Boston’s most efficient scorer in the game, having made six of his eight shots and five of his six free throws. That shooting led to 17 points.
You don’t earn this spot with scoring alone. Bass brought his A-game in several other areas as well.
Boston’s starting ‘center’ reeled in a team-high seven rebounds, which matched his plus/minus rating of plus-seven. All seven of those rebounds came at the defensive end of the floor.
We all know that Bass can score and rebound, which is what made his three blocked shots the most impressive stat in his box score. Bass flew around the paint with impeccable timing and his help defense allowed Boston to limit Detroit’s efficiency in the paint.
Box Score Nuggets
- Charlie Villanueva shot just 2-of-17 from the floor, including 0-of-8 from 3-point range.
- Jeff Green scored a game-high 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting.
- Detroit scored 30 points in the first quarter but only 68 over the final three quarters.
- Boston's defense limited Detroit to just 36.6 percent shooting overall and 16.7 percent shooting from downtown.
- The Pistons outrebounded the Celtics 52-34.
- Both teams scored 20 points off of the opposing team's turnovers.
- Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass each scored 17 points.
- Rodney Stuckey shot 11-of-15 from the line en route to 22 points.
- Detroit scored 58 points in the paint.
- Green blocked a game-high four shots, while Bass blocked three.
- Pierce and Villanueva tied for the game high in assists with five apiece.
- Greg Monroe grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds while scoring a team-high 24 points.
- Only 11 fast break points were scored in the game.
- Detroit totaled 25 offensive rebounds.
Quote of the Night
He really is. You know, hell, maybe the blessing is without Kevin we’ve removed the security blanket. Doc Rivers on Brandon Bass stepping up his game in several areasMore quotes >>