Pistons beat Celtics 87-77

Brandon Jennings made the most of his first game with the

Detroit Pistons on Sunday night. Brad Stevens’ third game with the

Boston Celtics was just like his first two.

Jennings had 14 points and four steals in 31 minutes and Andre

Drummond and Josh Smith added 15 points each to help the Pistons

keep the Celtics and their first-year coach winless with an 87-77

victory.

”I’m ready to play now,” Jennings said after missing the

team’s first two games and most of the preseason with a jaw

fracture related to a wisdom tooth.

The Pistons (2-1) trailed 65-63 early in the fourth quarter but

went on a 10-0 run to take the lead for good and win their second

home game in as many tries. Drummond added 12 rebounds for his

second straight double-double and Greg Monroe grabbed 10.

Jennings had two steals after the Celtics cut the lead to 79-77

with less than 2 minutes to play. He got the first steal to Rodney

Stuckey, who was fouled and made two free throws to give the

Pistons some breathing room. Detroit held Boston scoreless the rest

of the way.

”It was good to see him out there and the effect he can have on

the team,” coach Maurice Cheeks said of Jennings. ”He brings a

little electricity to a game.”

Rookie Kelly Olynyk scored 15 points and Avery Bradley and

Jordan Crawford added 13 each for the Celtics (0-3).

”We had stretches where we played well defensively,” Olynyk

said, ”but there were too many times when they got away with a

couple of big runs.”

The Pistons outscored the Celtics 10-5 in the last 5 minutes of

the first half and took a 45-35 lead. Boston made just five field

goals in the second quarter and had that many turnovers.

The Celtics finished with 24 turnovers and Detroit had 21.

Cheeks said turnovers – the Pistons had 60 in their first three

games – remain a concern.

”Our defense is usually pretty good but when we have turnovers,

it’s tough to get back and defend,” he said. ”It’s something we

have to keep working on.”

Detroit was much more effective on the glass, where it

outrebounded Boston 44-37.

”We had our opportunities,” Stevens said. ”They pounded us in

the paint all night and that really hurt us.”

Detroit outscored Boston 54-38 down low.

Jennings, who came to Detroit during the offseason in a

sign-and-trade deal with Milwaukee, wore a facemask that covered

his chin. He took the mask off in the fourth quarter because it was

uncomfortable. His jaw remains closed with a series of bands while

the fracture heals.

”I’m not used to playing with something on my face so it was my

decision to take it off,” he said.

He fell to the court after colliding with Brandon Bass in the

final seconds of the first half but showed no ill effects when he

returned for the third quarter.

NOTES: Crawford was assessed a technical foul by referee Sean

Corbin midway through the fourth quarter. … Detroit F Charlie

Villanueva (left shoulder) missed his third straight game. …

Detroit wore navy jerseys with ”Motor City” in place of the

team’s name. The salute to the region’s automotive heritage will be

worn nine more times this season.