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Boston's Kevin Garnett looks to pass on Sunday night in Detroit.Rapid reaction after the Detroit Pistons defeated the Boston Celtics 103-88 on Sunday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills:
THE NITTY GRITTY
Greg Monroe (15 points, 11 rebounds) produced his fifth consecutive double-double while six Pistons finished with double figures in scoring. Andre Drummond did the most damage, converting 5-of-6 shooting into a team-high 16 points to go along with seven rebounds over 20 minutes. Will Bynum added 15 points and five assists (most of the alley-oop variety) off the bench for the Pistons. Rajon Rondo flirted with a triple-double while finishing with 8 points, 15 assists and 9 rebounds (but missed 12 of his 16 shots and committed a whopping nine turnovers). Courtney Lee (16 points) and Jeff Green (15 points) provided a nice bench spark, but the Celtics just didn't have it on a night they shot 39.8 percent from the floor (33 of 83). Boston never led in the game.
Even after rallying out of a monster first-half hole, the Celtics couldn't sustain their energy. Detroit put together a little 9-2 burst midway through the third quarter -- including three buckets at the rim -- to push its lead back to double digits at 68-58 with 5:23 to play in the frame. Boston got its deficit back down to four later in the third, but just couldn't get over the hump again, plagued by poor shooting and ill-timed turnovers.
C'S FIRST-HALF RALLY
The Celtics were down 18 early in the second quarter, but mounted a spirited comeback to tie the game before the intermission. Boston's Big Three returned to aid the turnaround as the Celtics embarked on a 10-0 run (in a span of just 79 seconds) that culminated with back-to-back triples from Lee to trim Detroit's lead to eight. Lee's free throws with 59 seconds to play in the first half tied the game at 48 (though the Pistons scored the final four points of the half to lead at the break).
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics have lost three in a row and dip back to .500 at 20-20. Detroit has been a house of horrors and it lived up to its reputation as the Pistons opened the game on a 13-2 run and ran away again the one time Boston caught up. Thankfully for the Green, most fans were so despondent after the Patriots' loss in the AFC Championship Game, they probably never even bothered to flip over to check out the hoop carnage. The Celtics close out this brief two-game road trip on Tuesday in Cleveland before returning home for a visit from the New York Knicks on Thursday.