Boston Celtics: Game 40

Postgame notes: Baby talk

January, 20, 2010
1/20/10
10:45
PM ET
A collection of postgame notes after the Detroit Pistons defeated the Boston Celtics 92-86 Wednesday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills:

Fan gets under Big Baby's skin

Celtics forward Glen Davis let a jeering fan get under his skin as the heckler shouted, "Fat Boy!" and told Davis to lose some weight. Big Baby responded by shouting an obscenity at the fan.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers noted that Davis needed to have a level head in that type of situation.

"I tell the guys all the time ... [the fans] have every right to scream and yell," said Rivers. "You have to be strong enough to walk away, no matter what is said."

Asked if Davis would be punished -- he's already been fined this season by the Celtics for the offcourt incident that ended with Davis fracturing his right thumb in October, and he offered to pay part of the fine incurred by Rivers for a flagrant foul call on Davis earlier this month that resulted in the coach's ejection -- Rivers called Big Baby's actions "unacceptable," but indicated the Celtics were unlikely to take action.

"Not from me, but he might from the league," said Rivers. "I'm upset that we lost, people call me names, but that's part of the game. If you win the game, it keeps a lot of people quiet."

The Palace was the sight of the infamous 2004 brawl between the Pacers and Pistons.

Doc's Opinion: We think we're better than we are

Rivers came down hard on his team, suggesting Boston might think higher of itself than what it has shown on the court in recent games.

"I think we think we're better than what we are," said Rivers. "We get a lead and then we think we can put it on cruise. In the NBA, you can't do that. And we've never done that. But it's clear, we get a lead, and we go to individual ball, with guys trying to get numbers. And then we lose focus.

"Like I told our guys -- they're frustrated in there -- I said, 'Hey guys, it's great to be frustrated, but we've got to do something about it.'"

Added Rasheed Wallace: "Sometimes we think just because we're the Celtics and we go into a team's building that they're going to back down. We're a good team on paper, but other teams get up for us as a measuring stick."

Losers of eight of their last 12 games, including three in a row, Boston is hopeful the return of Kevin Garnett on Friday against the Trail Blazers will light a spark. But, with or without the Big Ticket, the Celtics need to find an answer to their third-quarter woes.

The Pistons outscored Boston 21-13 in the third Wednesday.

"We have great feel when we leave the locker room," said guard Eddie House. "We come in off the first half feeling good about what we did and know that we can play better. But, for whatever reason, we are just flat. It seems like we are trying to get loose and warmed-up and the other team is bringing it to us and playing with a lot more effort. It just seemed like [the Pistons] were outplaying us as far as hustle.”

After the jump: Celtics can't flip the switch; Opposing view: Detroit locker room; Wallace's return spoiled.

(Read full post)

First impressions: Pistons 92, Celtics 86

January, 20, 2010
1/20/10
10:14
PM ET


Instant reaction after the Detroit Pistons posted a 92-86 triumph over the Boston Celtics at The Palace of Auburn Hills:

How the game was won: Rodney Stuckey scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds to help the Pistons spoil Rasheed Wallace's return to Detroit. Charlie Villanueva came off the bench to score 19 points for the Pistons, while Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo chipped in 21 points apiece for the Celtics.

Turning point: Early in the fourth quarter, the Pistons embarked on a 13-0 run to turn a five-point deficit into an 84-76 advantage with less than four minutes to play. Nursing a one-point lead for nearly three minutes, Villanueva drilled one of two huge fourth-quarter 3-pointers to help Detroit pull away.

Stat of the game:The Pistons shot 42.4 percent (36 of 85), but outrebounded Boston, 45-35, with a whopping 13 offensive boards that helped them rally back.

Unsung hero: Jason Maxiell came off the bench to score 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting with a plus/minus of plus-10 (second only to Stuckey's game-best plus-14).

What it means: The Celtics have now lost eight of their last 12 games, including three in a row, and stumble back to Boston hoping the impending return of Kevin Garnett can snap them out of their funk (Garnett is expected back Friday vs. Portland). The Celtics continue to struggle in the third quarter of recent games and looked completely flustered when the Pistons switched to a zone defense in the second half Wednesday night.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
18.9 1.6 0.9 33.6
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 7.8
AssistsJ. Nelson 6.3
StealsJ. Nelson 1.5
BlocksK. Olynyk 0.8