The Detroit Pistons continue to show the rest of the NBA that they are for real. They have impressive wins over the Warriors, Clippers, and Timberwolves this season, and added a 118-108 victory over the Celtics.
Boston came in with the best record in the NBA, and as the top defensive team, giving up just 97 points a game. Detroit had three players score 20 points or more, including a game-high 31 points on 11-16 shooting from Tobias Harris. Reggie Jackson had 20.
“We beat a really good team on their home court,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “This is just a really good win, and I thought, from an offensive standpoint, this is the best we played all season. That’s the best defensive team in the league, & we were consistently able to get good shots.”
Andre Drummond arguably was the player of game. It is hard to argue that when you post a stat line of 26 points, 22 rebounds, six assists, and four steals. He was also 6-12 from the free throw line, and although the was only 50 percent from the line, he made some key free throws in the end to seal the win.
“That might be the best game he’s played overall on the both ends of the floor since I’ve berg here,” Van Gundy said of Drummond. “The free throws made a huge difference, because we have him on the floor, and we can run our pick-and-rolls with him on the floor. It changed the game.”
Tobias Harris had only been averaging 13.4 points a game in his last five games, but insisted he was not in a slump. He poured in 31 against the Celtics, and showed much more offensive effort on the floor from his previous games.
“One thing that I really like about Tobias is that you can talk to him, and he’ll take accountability,” Van Gundy said. “If you watched him in the previous games, we got on him about not running. And tonight he was running better than he did before.”
Van Gundy admitted that the team’s offense was better than the team defense. But to hold one of the better players in the NBA in Celtics’ point guard Kyrie Irving to just 18 points is another victory in itself. Avery Bradley had the responsibility of guarding him in his return to Boston, and was up to the challenge.
“Avery did as good of a job as you can do on a great player like Kyrie,” said Van Gundy. “He was right there with him all night, and had his hands on a lot of steals, causing havoc out there. I thought he did well tonight.”
Detroit is the second best team in the Eastern Conference at 13-6, and an impressive 6-1 against teams from the Western Conference. They welcome in the 7-14 Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.