Ford Keys to the Game: Pistons 115, Celtics 111

Pistons 115, Celtics 111 - Detroit, MI
By Marc D'Amico, April 5, 2014

Key Moment

To steal a line from one of our GameTime Live participants, “Detroit’s net doesn’t like (Jerryd) Bayless.”

You can say that again.

Bayless, who scored a team-high 25 points, squared up Rodney Stuckey and pulled up for a potential game-tying 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds remaining in Friday night's game in Detroit. The shot looked good, even through its contact with the rim. It seemed destined to fall through the basket, possibly even grazing the net at one point, all before rimming out and popping into the hands of Jonas Jerebko.

Trailing 114-111, Boston was forced to foul after the rebound. It sent Brandon Jennings to the line and the point guard nailed both free throws to put Detroit on top 115-111 with 5.6 seconds left in the game. The Celtics went on to miss two 3-pointers in the final three seconds, allowing the Pistons to secure a monumental comeback win after trailing by as many as many as 19 points.

Key Box Score Line

The Celtics weren’t even supposed to compete for a win Saturday night in Detroit. They were fresh off of a loss to Philadelphia and were missing three of their five starters, including Rajon Rondo. But then they got off to a hot start and changed everyone’s thinking, thanks in large part to the play of Phil Pressey.

Pressey got his seventh career start in place of the resting Rondo and he put together a gem of a game. The rookie out of Missouri notched the first double-double of his young career by scoring 12 points and dishing out 11 assists. He also chipped in two rebounds and two steals while committing only one turnover.

Pressey’s six assists highlighted Boston’s hot first quarter, which featured 32 points. He assisted on the Celtics’ first six baskets of the night.

There aren’t many teams who show respect to Pressey’s shot but he forced the Pistons to account for him on this night. He shot 5-of-8 from the field and nailed two of his four 3-pointers en route to his 12 points.

Pressey’s fantastic performance helped him finish with the best plus/minus rating on the team, at plus-nine. He played more than 37 minutes and was exceptional throughout all of them. On a night in which the Celtics were written off and their captain was a bystander, Pressey helped to jumpstart the team and give them a chance at a win.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Six players in the game scored at least 20 points, led by Rodney Stuckey's 26.
  • Jerryd Bayless led the Celtics with 25 points.
  • Boston's largest lead of the night was 19, while Detroit's was five.
  • Andre Drummond neared a 20-20 game with 19 points and 20 rebounds.
  • The teams combined to commit just 25 total turnovers.
  • The Celtics scored at least 30 points during each of the first three quarters and then scored just 16 during the fourth.
  • Stuckey's 10 made free throws were just three fewer than the Celtics made as a team.
  • Jared Sullinger (22 points, 10 rebounds) and Phil Pressey (12 points, 11 assists) each logged double-doubles for Boston.
  • Three Celtics attempted at least 19 shots, while none of Detroit's players attempted more than 17.
  • Boston grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and Detroit grabbed 13.
  • Jeff Green scored 23 points.
  • Kyle Singler, who scored six points, was the only starter in the game who did not reach double-figures.

Quote of the Night

We made a boatload of shots there in a row, and then I thought we let off the gas in transition defensively a couple of times, and now all of a sudden instead of a 19-point game, it's a 13-point game and the momentum is swinging. Your shots get tougher and their shots get freer. We've seen that time and time again in this league. Those leads go quick, especially when [they're) are home.
Brad Stevens on Boston losing a 19-point lead in the second half