BOSTON -- Beggars can't be choosers, so the Boston Celtics will take the victory.
The Celtics snapped a five-game losing streak on Wednesday night after being out-awfuled by the Detroit Pistons, who dropped their 10th straight. After kicking away an 11-point lead over the final 3:28 of regulation, the Celtics scored the first eight points of overtime and emerged with a 109-102 triumph at TD Garden.
The win will come with an asterisk given how poor the Pistons are. Detroit shot 36.3 percent overall (37-of-102) and still managed to hang around for most of the night before being the latest to enjoy a fourth-quarter rally against Boston.
Alas, a win is a win is a win. And the Celtics so desperately needed a victory.
Maybe the biggest positive for Boston: Second-year center Kelly Olynyk finally got himself going a bit. Olynyk posted 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting with seven rebounds and three assists over 26 minutes. Seven of those points came in the fourth quarter as Boston opened an 11-point lead with 7 ½ minutes to play.
• First-half bricks: The Celtics and Pistons combined to shoot 33.7 percent in the first half (31-of-92). Boston led by as much as 10 and was still out front seven with 1:26 to play in the half, but Detroit scored eight points in 50 seconds and took a 43-42 lead into the intermission.
• Rondo Report: Playing the second night of a back-to-back for the first time since returning from an ACL tear, Rondo finished with two points, eight assists, and three rebounds over 34 minutes. He was 1-of-6 shooting and had four turnovers. After a head-shaking giveaway late in the game aided Detroit's rally, Rondo spent time on the bench in the final minute.
• Smart's return: Rookie guard Marcus Smart returned from a left ankle injury that forced him to miss 10 games. Smart played only one five-minute shift in the second quarter, missing all three shots he took, but did hand out two assists. He spent most of the night pedaling on an exercise bike near the Celtics' bench while being eased back into game action.
• Loose balls: Even with Smart's return, Stevens loosened up his rotation and had an entire five-man sub unit on the floor late in the first quarter. The Celtics used 12 players overall. ... Rookie James Young was a healthy DNP. ... With Smart back, rookie Dwight Powell joined Vitor Faverani on the inactive list.
• What it means: The Celtics improved to 5-11, securing their first non-76ers win since Nov. 8. It's rivalry night when the Los Angeles Lakers visit on Friday evening. The Pistons fell to 3-16. Poor Stan Van Gundy.