Celtics suffocate Pistons late en route to 5th straight win

2022-03-12 03:18
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum scored 31 points Friday as the Boston Celtics rode a dominant fourth quarter to a 114-103 win over the visiting Detroit Pistons.

Tatum scored at least 30 points for a fifth straight game and added eight rebounds and six assists. Jaylen Brown had 22 points with eight rebounds and four assists, and Marcus Smart added 20 points for Boston, which has notched five straight wins.

Boston expanded its 92-90 lead with seven straight points to begin the fourth. Al Horford capped the run with back-to-back buckets that forced a Detroit timeout with 9:44 left.

Tatum's step-back 3-pointer and a Payton Pritchard jumper at the 6:53 mark put the hosts ahead by double digits for the first time, 104-94.

Boston didn't allow a field goal in the fourth quarter until there were 30.2 seconds left in the frame. It held a 22-13 scoring edge in the period.

Cade Cunningham had a team-high 27 points for the Pistons, who have lost back-to-back games following a 6-2 stretch. Jerami Grant and Marvin Bagley III each scored 20 for Detroit.

The Celtics used a 10-3 run to take their first lead at 14-13. Tatum finished the stretch with a drive and dunk with 6:29 left in the first.

A quick response lifted Detroit to a 23-19 lead at the four-minute mark, but the edge closed to 34-32 by quarter's end. Cunningham had 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting and Grant hit a pair of 3-pointers in the opening 12 minutes as the Pistons shot 50 percent from the field.

Boston shot 10 of 17 and held a 29-28 scoring advantage in the second quarter to cut the visitors' lead to 62-61. The teams stacked runs as Detroit scored seven straight to break a 43-43 tie and Boston immediately knotted the game at 50-50 thanks in part to a Derrick White 3-pointer.

From the 5:12 mark until halftime, neither side led by more than three. It was more of the same to start the second half.

A three-point play by Grant Williams gave Boston an 86-82 lead -- its largest of the third quarter -- with 2:35 left, but 3-pointers by Saddiq Bey and Cunningham flipped the score back in Detroit's favor. White's layup in the final minute reestablished a 92-90 lead for the Celtics heading into the final period.



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