The Boston Celtics have had an up-and-down season, thus far, to say the least. Winning streaks and losing streaks are both scattered throughout their schedule, and a 103-88 loss to the Detroit Pistons Sunday has pushed them back to .500 nearly halfway through the year.
The first time these two teams met, Boston played one of their worst games of the 2012-13 campaign. They gave up 54.2 percent from the field, they couldn’t score in transition and they ended up falling to the Pistons by 20 points.
This time around, the game felt more competitive throughout, but the end result ended up being nearly the same for Doc Rivers and his crew.
The Pistons were the first ones to establish momentum. They jumped out to a quick 13-2 lead, and they were out-rebounding the team in green on both ends of the floor. The Celtics shot just 27.3 percent in the first quarter, and they found themselves down 27-18 heading into the second period.
The next 12 minutes began in similar fashion, as Boston gave up open looks all over the floor. The Pistons went on a quick 9-0 run, and at one point, the Celtics trailed by 18.
But around the nine-minute mark of the second quarter, the Celtics began swarming the Pistons defensively. While defense didn’t look like much of a priority early, it is what helped turn this game around—at least temporarily. Detroit turnovers led to offensive opportunities for Boston, and the gap had been closed to four by halftime.
Momentum would go back and forth throughout the second half, but it always seemed to fall back in Detroit’s favor. Boston hadn’t given up 100 points to any team in 2013, but excellent shooting from the Pistons broke that streak Sunday night.