Pistons look to bounce back against Celtics Wednesday

Andre Drummond averages an NBA-best 16.3 rebounds and ranks third among all centers with a career-best 17.7 scoring average.

Raj Mehta

It doesn’t seem like the Boston Celtics have made much of an effort to hide their desire to acquire All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in recent months.

With the Sacramento Kings now listening to offers, the Celtics have reportedly jumped back into the mix ahead of their matchup with emerging big man Andre Drummond.

As the Cousins rumor continues to swirl, Boston will try to regroup from an ugly home loss with its fifth win in six road games Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons (7 p.m. pregame, 7:30 tip-off on FOX Sports Detroit).

The Celtics first became linked to Cousins when the teams met in February. According to reports, general manager Danny Ainge was then pushing to get a deal done during the offseason after it seemed coach George Karl and Cousins couldn’t co-exist.

Having collected a number of young players and draft picks, Boston has reportedly expressed interest once again with Sacramento now testing the market.

The Celtics (14-11) have been starting 6-foot-9 Jared Sullinger in the middle. Sullinger, whose name has been included in potential trade scenarios for Cousins, has been struggling with just 6.7 points per game and a 29.5 field-goal percentage in his last seven.

Boston certainly could use some interior size as it seeks to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since Nov. 22 and 24 following Tuesday’s 89-77 home loss to Cleveland.

Since scoring 109.8 per game over their previous six, the Celtics have averaged 87.5 on 37.2 percent shooting in their last two. They could have a tough time getting on track against a Detroit team that ranks in the top 10 in defensive scoring (97.7).

"For whatever reason we were in mud a little bit on offense," coach Brad Stevens told the team’s official website after falling to the Cavaliers.

The Celtics rank in the bottom third of the league with a minus-2.6 rebounding margin, while the Pistons are in the top five with a plus-3.5 mark. Drummond has had his way with undersized Boston, averaging 20.8 points on 61.5 percent from the field and 18.4 boards in the past five meetings.

Drummond averages an NBA-best 16.3 rebounds and ranks third among all centers with a career-best 17.7 scoring average. He had 20 points and 15 boards in Monday’s 105-103 overtime home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers that ended a two-game winning streak.

Reggie Jackson finished with 34 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. The point guard is averaging 23.3 points while shooting 45.3 percent from 3-point range at home.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope totaled 37 points in the first two of this three-game stay for the Pistons (14-12), who have averaged 106.7 points during a 6-3 stretch overall.

"I like our group," coach Stan Van Gundy told the team’s official website. "It’s stepping up and competing hard against good teams. We’re right there."

Drummond had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Jackson added 21 and 15 assists, but Boston snapped a six-game losing streak at Detroit in a 113-103 win April 8.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 34 points and was 4 of 8 from 3-point range in that contest. The point guard, who averages a team-high 20.5 points, will try to bounce back after he had a season-low 12 on 3-of-15 shooting against the Cavs.

Guard Avery Bradley has scored 19.7 per game and hit 10 3-pointers in his last three.