Here’s something you have to love about these Celtics — they respond to a challenge.
Gordon Hayward out for the year? No problem. They’ll rip off 16 straight. The defending-champion Golden State Warriors leading by double-digits? Time for a season-defining rally. The winning streak in jeopardy in Dallas? Give it to Kyrie Irving and get out of the way.
On Sunday, the Celtics faced another challenge, and they once again responded.
Two weeks ago in Boston, the Celtics were outclassed by the Pistons. Detroit’s 118-108 victory was marked by the dominance of big man Andre Drummond, who destroyed the C’s to the tune of 26 points and 22 rebounds. He rag-dolled the Celtics all night.
The rematch in Detroit unfolded in shockingly different fashion. With big man Aron Baynes bringing down all of Australia upon Drummond and limiting him to six points and just one made field goal, the Celtics cruised to a 91-81 victory.
This one wasn’t remotely pretty. At one point in the fourth quarter, the Celtics missed 13 straight shots over more than seven minutes. It didn’t matter, because the C’s played suffocating defense, limiting the Pistons to 33.3 percent shooting.
Offensively, the star was Al Horford, who scored 18 points with nine rebounds and six assists, bouncing back from a two-point effort in San Antonio. Horford took a minus-13 in last month’s loss to the Pistons, but on Sunday he put up a plus-seven.
Also impressive was the performance of rookie Jayson Tatum, the league’s leading 3-point shooter, who sank 3-of-5 shots from distance, including the clincher in the final two minutes en route to 11 points. Baynes also contributed, putting up six points and 13 rebounds while frustrating Drummond into 1-for-6 shooting.
The Celtics have now won five of six. They return to the court on Monday in Chicago, where they’ll take on the Bulls.
JBL Audio Stat of the Game: After allowing Andre Drummond to score 27 points on Nov. 27, the Celtics held him to 6 points Sunday.
JBL is the Official Sound of Jayson Tatum, The Boston Celtics, and the NBA.
Full article @ Celtics 91, Pistons 81 — What a difference two weeks make, especially for Andre Drummond
Source: GreenStreet Blog