Rapid Reaction: Pistons 98, Celtics 88

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
10:05
PM ET
Greg M. Cooper/US PresswireRay Allen simply didn't have it Wednesday against the Pistons.
BOSTON -- Rapid reaction after the Detroit Pistons defeated the Boston Celtics 98-88 Wednesday night at TD Garden:

HOW THE GAME WAS LOST
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo scored a career-high 35 points (to go along with six assists and five rebounds), but he and the Celtics went ice-cold in the fourth quarter as the Pistons raced away with a double-digit victory. Chris Wilcox chipped in 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting while starting in place of Kevin Garnett, but didn't score in the fourth quarter. Paul Pierce was a gruesome 3-of-11 overall for 10 points (though he did add five assists and two blocks over 37 minutes) and Ray Allen didn't register his first bucket until a gimme layup in the final seconds. Ben Gordon (12 fourth-quarter points on 4-of-6 shooting beyond the arc) and Greg Monroe (12 third-quarter points on 6-of-6 shooting) sparked the Pistons with 22 points apiece.

RONDO ON FIRE THROUGH THREE
Coming off a triple-double effort, Rondo was brilliant again through three quarters, chipping in 31 points over 31 minutes. He was 14-of-23 shooting from the field, accounting for nearly half of Boston's total buckets (29) through three frames. Four buckets by Rondo in the first 3:24 of the third quarter had Boston out front by six, but the Pistons actually rallied ahead in the final minutes of the frame as Rondo went cold (missing his final two attempts of the frame, and getting no help from his teammates).

TURNING POINT
It was a one-possession game with under nine minutes to go, but Gordon got hot and the Celtics couldn't buy a bucket. A couple Gordon triples and the Pistons were up 87-76 with 7:52 to play. Boston never really threatened a comeback from there.

WHAT IT MEANS
Not the way the Celtics wanted to wrap up the home portion of their pre-All-Star schedule. Celtics not named Rondo were a mere 19-of-50 (38 percent) from the floor overall. What's more, the Celtics missed a whopping 13 free throws (19-of-32). Boston was sloppy all night, but especially in the fourth quarter. Now it must collect itself with the second half of a back-to-back looming Thursday night in Chicago to kick off a five-game road trip.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

PODCASTS

Greg Cosell, NFL

NFL Films' Greg Cosell covers the Cowboys' defense, Rob Gronkowski's impact, Darrelle Revis' performance last season, the Giants' talent level and the outlook for the Cardinals.

Baseball Tonight

Buster Olney and Keith Law talk about the Tigers' acquisition of Joakim Soria and whether it's wise to trade within the division. Plus, Matt Gelb on the Phillies' plans.

Baseball Tonight

Buster Olney talks to Marc Topkin about the Rays' plans with David Price. Plus, Jayson Stark on Price and the rest of the trade market as the trading deadline looms over MLB.

Tom Brady, Patriots

Patriots QB Tom Brady talks about donating to The V Foundation for Cancer Research and more.

Joe Buck, MLB

FOX's Joe Buck discusses his memories of Derek Jeter, Jeter's final season, the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox and the rosters for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game.

Brian Windhorst, NBA

ESPN NBA Insider Brian Windhorst weighs in on the Heat's reaction to LeBron James' departure, James' mindset regarding free agency, whether the Cavaliers should pursue Kevin Love and more.

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9