Notebook: Celtics 98, Pistons 93



Posted Apr 4, 2013 12:17 AM

Brian Robb, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Jeff Green had a game-high 34 points, helping lift the Boston Celtics to a hard fought 98-93 win over the Detroit Pistons at the TD Garden. With the victory, the Celtics clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference for the sixth straight season. The clinched berth didn't come easy though Wednesday night. Boston led by as many as 18 points in the second half, but surrendered much of it during the fourth quarter, in a feisty Detroit comeback before being rescued by Green. The hybrid forward scored 13 of his 34 points in the frame, helping carry the short-handed Celtics into the postseason. Greg Monroe posted 24 points and 17 rebounds for the Pistons in the setback.

QUOTABLE: "You have seen a lot of flashes of that this year. A lot of times teams come into this game really focused on what I'm trying to do and the scouting report. And you've got a guy like Jeff who can put up big numbers like that, who can take over like that. It's fun, it's fun to watch and to be a part of."
-- Paul Pierce

THE STAT: The Celtics were able to escape with the win despite surrendering 25 offensive rebounds to the Pistons. That was one rebound shy of the NBA season-high for offensive rebounds in a game. Those 26 offensive rebounds posted by the Utah Jazz on November 17, 2012.

TURNING POINT: Leading by two with 45 seconds remaining in the contest, the Celtics looked to ice the game. Pierce drove the lane on the possession and found a wide-open Green in the corner, who drilled the 3-pointer to help put the game away.

QUOTABLE II: "I think a lot of guys are cheering for Jeff [Green]. They want him to do well; Chris (Wilcox) too. Our league, it's funny, we hate each other, we hate the opponent, but then when a guy goes down you really want them to get back healthy and do well. I mean, on every team. "
-- Doc Rivers

HOT: Green. The forward has stepped up in a big way with Kevin Garnett sidelined over the past two weeks. Green has averaged 23.8 points per game over the team's past five contests, 11 points above his season average.

NOT: Charlie Villanueva. The former UConn star missed 3-pointers, layups and everything in between Wednesday night. Villanueva misfired on 15 of his 17 shots, including on a fast break layup in the second half.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Brandon Bass. The power forward continued his consistent play of late, delivering Rivers 17 points and seven rebounds in 36 minutes of action.

ROOKIE WATCH: Andre Drummond. The 19-year-old out of Kentucky looked sharp in the fourth start at center of his NBA career, posting eight points and nine rebounds against an undersized Celtics front line.

NOTABLE: Kevin Garnett sat out his seventh straight game with a left ankle injury. .... Pierce returned to the starting lineup after missing Monday's loss against Minnesota for the birth of his first son. Prince Paul Pierce was born on Tuesday night. ... Jose Calderon sat out for Detroit with a sore right elbow. Rodney Stuckey started in his place. ...Detroit outscored Boston in the paint 58-28.

UP NEXT: For Detroit, Saturday @ Minnesota, Sunday vs. Chicago, Wednesday @ Cleveland. For Boston, Friday vs. Cleveland, Sunday vs. Washington, Wednesday vs. Brooklyn.