With a game winning basket by Jerami Grant—the Pistons defeat a at-home Celtics team by one point 112-111. That snaps the 9 game winning streak the C’s were on.
Jayson Tatum came alive early in the 4th quarter scoring 9 points but missed key jumper at the top of the key late in the game. He finished with 22 points as Jaylen Brown was the leading scorer with 31.
Al Horford finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists while Grant Williams 19 points helped. The two big men had to show up to make up for the absence of Robert Williams who was out with tightness in his right calf. However, the C’s lost the rebounding battle while also losing some of their inside defense despite having more blocks as a unit.
Coach Udoka only played 8 players despite not having Marcus Smart out there because of a ankle injury suffered from last game. And the way Tatum and Brown have been playing—they could have used the rest.
Nonetheless, the worst team in the league prevailed behind their two young gunners. Grant, who was expected to be traded before the deadline—put up 24 points 12 of which came from the deep ball. Cade Cunningham put in 20 points while Saddiq Bey also put up the same.
Despite the 5-25 record on the road, Detroit handled business right before the all-star break. Leaving Celtics fans wondering whether this game was just a hiccup or did it shed light on a larger issue?
Now the Celtics will have a break as they head into all-star weekend. Hopefully Smart and Williams will be healthy and ready to play for the rest of the regular season. Their 9 game win streak placed them in reaching distance to the top spot in the eastern conference. Their next game will be against the Brooklyn Nets on February 24th.