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
”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.