Boston Star Jaylen Brown Scores 33 As Celtics Shorthanded Pistons Lose to Celtics, 129-102

Despite James Wiseman scoring the most points he’s ever scored in a Pistons uniform, the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics proved too much to handle for a shorthanded Detroit team that was without its entire starting frontcourt.

Wiseman, who normally plays behind Jalen Duren, got the start as Duren was a late scratch from the game, and he made the most of the opportunity. He scored 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the Pistons 129-102 loss.

Wiseman’s performance wasn’t enough to keep pace with Boston, which had four Celtics score at least 19 points. Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick White each netted 19 points, Payton Pritchard poured in 20, and All-NBA star Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 33 points on 13-of-19 shooting.

The Pistons lead 34-32 after one quarter thanks to hot starts from Wiseman and Cade Cunningham. But after scoring eight first-quarter points, Cunningham only managed to score seven points over the next three quarters. Two other Pistons scored in double figures, as Jaden Ivey finished with 16 and four rebounds, and Tosan Evbuomwan contributed 14 points.

After the game, Pistons Head Coach Monty Williams said that he was comfortable just rolling with the narrative that the Celtics were “just better.”

“I wouldn’t be here if I woke up thinking another person was better than me,” he said. “We showed in the first quarter and a little in the third that we could compete. I’m just proud of the guys that are hanging in there.”

One guy in particular was Wiseman.

“To see him battling and producing on the floor. He understands that these are opportunities to play for your career. He’s been stellar, but I don’t expect anything else of him,” Williams added.

Wiseman said that this season hasn’t been an easy one, but he understands that in times like these, he has to remain understanding of those opportunities Williams spoke of. He acknowledged that he’s “been going through a lot of peaks and valleys this season,” but said winning is what matters to him and the rest of the team.

“I want to win. That’s all I care about. I just want to make sure I give us a chance to win.”

The Pistons fell to 12-58 with the loss, while the Celtics advance to 56-14 as the season winds down. Detroit is also fighting against being on the wrong side of history as they finish the season and “run through the tape,” as Williams said.

In order to avoid having the team’s worst season in franchise history, the Pistons need to win five of their final 12 games. The 1979-80 Pistons finished with a 16-66 record, and this year’s squad is dangerously close to equally that or finishing with even fewer wins.

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