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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Mar 18, 2024 6:28 am

Celtics look to keep momentum vs. struggling Pistons

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics will have a chance to improve the NBA’s best record when they face the visiting Detroit Pistons on Monday night.

Boston (53-14) was missing three starters but extended its winning streak to five games with a 130-104 victory over the Washington Wizards on the road Sunday. The Celtics played without center Kristaps Porzingis (right hamstring strain) and guards Jaylen Brown (ankle) and Derrick White (hand). Porzingis hasn’t played in Boston’s last five games.

Sam Hauser made 10 of 13 3-point attempts and tossed in 30 points before he left the game with an ankle injury in the third quarter. Payton Pritchard had a career-high 13 assists in the win.

“Just trying to play the right type of basketball – what we’ve been trying to do all year,” Pritchard said. “When I have the ball in my hands always trying to get my guys easy shots. I tell people all the time Sam is one of the top shooters in the league, so for us anytime he’s open we have to find him. It’s almost automatic. It was a good team win.”

Boston center Al Horford is unlikely to suit up Monday since he has not played in games on back-to-back nights this season.

The Pistons and Wizards are battling to stay out of the NBA’s cellar. The Pistons (12-55) are 14th in the Eastern Conference, one spot ahead of the Wizards (11-57), who own the league’s worst record.

Detroit is coming off Sunday’s 104-101 home loss to Miami. Evan Fournier scored a season-high 18 points for the Pistons. Cade Cunningham added 17 points and nine assists for Detroit, but went 1-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc.

MIami prevailed when Bam Adebayo made a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“When you lose a game like that it’s hard to come down on the guys about anything,” Pistons coach Monty Williams said. “We battled when it didn’t look great. We executed some situations well defensively, holding them to 25 points (in the fourth quarter) and the point total in the second half (44 points) speaks for itself. We had a chance to win a big-time game at home.”

Miami’s Duncan Robinson made 7 of 12 3-pointers and scored 30 points. The Heat outscored the Pistons 39-27 in the second quarter. Miami also beat Detroit 108-95 on Friday.

“It wasn’t so much our scheme as it was our awareness of who was hot in the situation,” Williams said. “Robinson just hit shot after shot, and we didn’t switch well onto him. He even got stuff at the basket, which is not what he’s known for. We did not have great awareness of his scoring ability in the second.

“We have to be more of a consistent team. We brought that up last game in the shootaround, how consistency helps you keep your rhythm. We just haven’t been that consistent these last two games.”

Monday’s game will be the second time the Celtics and Pistons have met this season. Boston overcame a 21-point deficit to earn a 128-122 overtime victory in Boston on Dec. 28. Porzingis led all scorers with 35 points in the last meeting, and White tossed in 10 of his 23 points in overtime. Cunningham had 31 points and nine assists for Detroit.

The teams also will face each other Friday night in Detroit.

–Field Level Media

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