Rapid Reaction: Celtics 118, Pistons 111
BOSTON -- Rapid reaction after the Boston Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons 118-111 on Sunday evening at TD Garden:
The nitty gritty
Rajon Rondo handed out a season-high 18 assists, bringing his career total to 4,101 and pushing him past Bill Russell for fifth all-time in Celtics history. Rondo added 11 points and did not commit a turnover. Jeff Green hit four 3-pointers as part of a 14-point third-quarter outburst and finished with a team-high 27 points overall. Kris Humphries started fast and overcame foul trouble while chipping in a double-double (20 points, 11 rebounds). Kelly Olynyk added 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting off the bench, while Jared Sullinger kicked in 14 points (and the pair of young bigs combined for 14 rebounds). The entire Detroit starting frontcourt had double-doubles including Josh Smith (28 points, 11 rebounds), Andrew Drummond (18 points, 22 rebounds) and Greg Monroe (22 points, 14 rebounds).
The Celtics were up eight coming out of halftime, but stretched things out a bit behind Green's third-quarter exploits. He hit consecutive 3-pointers and Jerryd Bayless added another triple as Boston's lead ballooned to a game-high 17 points midway through the frame. The Pistons closed within four (with the ball) in the final minute, but Boston was able to hold on.
After committing a season-high 28 turnovers in Friday's win over the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics watched Rondo, Phil Pressey and Jerryd Bayless combine for 28 assists with zero turnovers. The Celtics had 38 helpers overall on 47 field goals. The Celtics committed just seven turnovers for the game. ... Boston took a whopping 97 shots, but shot 48.5 percent from the floor overall (including 56 percent from inside the 3-point arc). ... Joel Anthony was a healthy DNP. ... Avery Bradley, who is eyeing a Friday return, sat on the bench in street clothes.
What it means
The Celtics (22-41) have now won two straight and closed out this five-game homestand at 3-2 overall. Boston will hold onto the NBA championship belt as it heads to Indianapolis to meet the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. The Celtics are right back at TD Garden to host the New York Knicks (Wednesday) and Phoenix Suns (Friday) later this week.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL reporter Field Yates covers expectations for Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots' outlook, LeSean McCoy's injury and Alex Smith's contract negotiations with the Chiefs.
Play Podcast Buster Olney and Justin Havens discuss how teams that made major deals have fared since the deadline. Plus, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer on the strange circumstances caused by weather.