THE NITTY GRITTY
The Celtics rallied from a 15-point deficit and actually sneaked ahead briefly in the fourth quarter, but Boston's offense disappeared for a six-minute stretch in the fourth quarter, which allowed Detroit to push its lead back to double figures. Unfazed, Boston rallied again to make it a one-possession game, but couldn't get over the hump. Kelly Olynyk scored a team-high 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting with seven rebounds over 26 minutes, while Avery Bradley added 13 points (to go along with eight rebounds and six turnovers). Detroit's frontline of Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond had 15 points apiece (and combined for 29 rebounds).
Riding a lineup of Bradley, Courtney Lee, Gerald Wallace, Brandon Bass and Olynyk, the Celtics rallied from 10 down to make it a 2-point game with 2:14 remaining. Coming out of a timeout, the Pistons gave the ball away, giving Boston a chance to tie (or pull ahead), but Boston turned it over three straight times (first by Lee, two more by Bradley). The Pistons made their free throws as Boston kicked the ball around and emerged with the win.
GREEN GLUED TO BENCH
Celtics forward Jeff Green, who is supposed to be Boston's focal point on offense, didn't play over the final 14:41. Green finished with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting with two rebounds and two assists over 20:06. He was a minus-8 in plus/minus. Likewise, big man Vitor Faverani played only 18 minutes as the C's went with smaller lineups after early struggles inside.
Stevens shuffled up his rotations a bit as MarShon Brooks (0-for-2, 0 points over 6:53) and Keith Bogans (0-for-1, 0 points over 2:51) both made their regular-season debuts. ... Kris Humphries and Phil Pressey earned DNPs for the second straight game. ... The Pistons shot 17 more free throws than Boston (29-12). ... Boston turned the ball over 21 times leading to 21 points (though the Pistons were worse, giving 27 points off 21 turnovers). ... Points in the paint: Pistons 54, Celtics 38.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics fall to 0-3 on the young season. They've given themselves a chance to win each game, but lulls continue to hold them back. Boston plays the second night of a back-to-back on Monday in Memphis. This is a stretch of five games in seven days in seven cities as Boston has a second road back-to-back looming at the end of the week (in Orlando and Miami).