After Falling to Pistons, C’s Look to Flip Switch in Milwaukee

BOSTON – The Detroit Pistons rolled into TD Garden Wednesday night firing on all cylinders. Behind a vintage Derrick Rose performance, the Motor City squad ran right over the Boston Celtics, 116-103, all while shooting a season-best 60.3 percent from the field, including a whopping 76.1 percent from inside the 3-point arc on 46 attempts.

Though several of Detroit’s attempts came in difficult fashion – of the running floater, contested mid-range pull-up, and turnaround step-back variety – there were also many preventable shots, of which Celtics coach Brad Stevens was sure to address after the game.

“The baskets you can never give away are the cuts, the layups, and the transition, when they just get behind you and drive to the rim,” Stevens reflected. “You always start there. I’m guessing they had 20 points on those, maybe more? Right there you are probably getting beat in most NBA games if you give up that easy of plays.”

Most of Detroit’s offensive production came from five individuals, as Sekou Doumbouya, Andre Drummond, Markieff Morris, Svi Mykhauliuk and Derrick Rose all combined for 103 points on 42-of-55 shooting. Doumbouya, Drummond and Rose didn’t miss a single shot from inside the arc, where they combined to shoot a perfect 25-for-25.

“They just played well,” said Kemba Walker, who tallied 19 points for the C’s. “From the beginning of the game, they came out extremely aggressive and focused, and they took that one.”

Boston will have to flip the switch immediately for Part 2 of their back-to-back, as they are set to visit the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks Thursday night. The C’s will look to use their frustrating loss to Detroit as fuel to power a potential road upset.

“I think we’re going to be motivated to play tomorrow,” Jaylen Brown said after logging his sixth double-double (24 points, 12 rebounds) of the season. “I think that we didn’t come with the right energy (tonight) and teams are looking to beat us, man. We’ve been saying that all year. And we didn’t come out with the type of aggressiveness for a game that we needed, so we lost. And that was all-around. Everybody’s gotta be better.”

It all starts with their effort on the defensive end – limiting those cuts, those layups, those transition buckets, which they were unable to do against Detroit. If they play that way against a Bucks team that is currently on pace to win 70 games, it will surely spell disaster again.

“You just gotta want it more,” said Kemba Walker, who expects himself and his teammates to rise to the occasion in Milwaukee. “Especially after a loss like this, you’ve got to want to go in and do what we can to try to get a win against the best team in the league.”

The C’s know it’s an accomplishable feat. They ousted this same Bucks team 116-105 on Oct. 30 in Boston. Though, as Stevens noted before boarding the team plane late Wednesday night, “The road gets tough.” And his team will have to play a lot tougher Thursday night in order to have a chance at another win over Milwaukee.


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