So much happened in the final eight minutes of Sunday night’s matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons that many might overlook the bucket scored at the 8:26 mark of the fourth quarter. That’s when Jerryd Bayless scored what may have been the most important two points of the game.
Boston had led by as many as 17 points but Detroit clawed its way back to within six points when Will Bynum nailed a pull-up jumper with 8:32 remaining in the game. At that moment, the fans in TD Garden began to fear the worst. The energy in the building made it feel as if a terrible loss was on the horizon for the Celtics.
Then, in the blink of an eye, everything changed.
Bayless saw Bynum’s shot falling through the hoop and immediately took off in the other direction. Phil Pressey handled the ensuing inbound pass and immediately tossed an outlet pass to Bayless, who was waiting at the other end of the court with no one within 20 feet of him. Bayless glided in and put home an uncontested layup that gave Boston a 99-91 lead.
The game clock had only ticked six times between the moment Bynum’s shot fell through the basket and the moment Bayless laid in his two points. Those six seconds held an enormous amount of importance.
Had Boston failed to score on that possession, Detroit almost certainly would have held control of this contest heading into the final minutes. That uncontested bucket by Bayless, however, thwarted every ounce of momentum the Pistons had gained.
The Celtics went on to score the game’s next six points to bump their lead all the way up to 14. They held on to win by a final score of 118-111.
Key Box Score Line
Rajon Rondo is certainly beginning to settle into his comfort zone on the court, and that is resulting in constant appearances in this section.
Rondo left reporters scouring through the NBA’s record books Sunday night at TD Garden. He propelled the Celtics to a 118-111 victory by dishing out a game-high 18 assists while not committing a single turnover.
Such a tally does not stand as an NBA record, but it sure was close.
According to basketball-reference.com, Rondo became just the ninth player since 1985 to dish out as many as 18 assists without committing a single turnover during a regular-season game. The record during that time frame is 19 assists without a turnover, which was done by four different players.
Coincidentally, Rondo has done that, too, but only in a playoff game. Rondo dished out 19 helpers while taking care of the ball to perfection during Game 6 of the 2009 playoff series against the Chicago Bulls.
But back to this night. Rondo also contributed 11 points to account for his seventh double-double of the season. He grabbed a game-high three steals, which matched Detroit’s total as a team.
Box Score Nuggets
- After committing 28 turnovers Friday night, the Celtics committed just seven on Sunday.
- Detroit scored a whopping 64 points in the paint.
- Jeff Green scored a team-high 27 points, highlighted by five 3-pointers.
- Thirty-one of Boston's 97 shot attempts were attempted from 3-point range.
- Kris Humphries logged a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds in just 27 minutes of action.
- The Pistons attempted as many free throws, 39, as the Celtics grabbed rebounds.
- Detroit's frontline of Andre Drummond (22), Greg Monroe (14) and Josh Smith (11) combined to grab 47 rebounds.
- Rajon Rondo dished out 18 assists without committing a turnover.
- Rondo also grabbed a game-high three steals.
- Kelly Olynyk scored 18 points off the bench for Boston.
- Both teams scored 18 fast break points.
- Will Bynum (18 points) and Rodney Stuckey (three points) were the only Pistons reserves to score a point.
Quote of the Night
It's unbelievable. You can really see him starting to excel even more. He was great when he came back, but now he is taking it to a whole other level. Kelly Olynyk on Rajon RondoMore quotes >>