Pistons’ two-game winning streak snapped, fall to Celtics, 113-104

Detroit News

Detroit — For the second time in their last three games, the Pistons played a close one with the Boston Celtics. Right before the All-Star break, they went into Boston and had a tough win in the final minute.

This time, the Pistons couldn’t hold on down the stretch.

The Celtics used a 15-2 run midway through the fourth quarter to take their largest lead of the game and held on for a 113-104 victory on Saturday afternoon at Little Caesars Arena.

Cade Cunningham had 25 points and seven rebounds, Marvin Bagley III 14 points and four rebounds and Saddiq Bey 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Pistons (14-46), who ended their two-game win streak.

BOX SCORE: Celtics 113, Pistons 104

The Pistons had an 82-78 lead entering the fourth quarter, but Grant Williams (13 points) converted a three-point play and added two more free throws on the next trip. The Pistons later jumped ahead, 88-85, following a lay-in by Cunningham and a steal and dunk by Killian Hayes.

Boston steamed ahead with a big run, including a 3-pointer and a drive by Payton Pritchard (19 points and six assists and a 3-pointer by Jaylen Brown (27 points).

The Celtics (36-26), who have won 10 of their last 11 games, ended the run with a jumper by Al Horford and a 3-pointer by Jayson Tatum (26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists), for a 97-90 lead with 5:45 left.

Cunningham tried to spark a rally with six straight Pistons points, but the Celtics kept pace. After Cunningham’s last two free throws, Cory Joseph (15 points and four rebounds) hit a 3-pointer to get within 105-99 at the 2:46 mark, but Brown countered with a drive and the Celtics held on.

The Pistons were shorthanded after Hamidou Diallo was ejected in the second quarter after making contact with an official. Diallo was saving a ball from going out of bounds and turned to run up court. Diallo looked to be trying to get his balance and ran into the official, Suyash Mehta, who immediately called a technical foul.

After video review, the officials determined that it was intentional contact and Diallo was ejected.

“Per rule, any contact with a game official — and in this case, a shove — is deemed a hostile act and an automatic ejection,” said Rodney Mott, the officiating crew chief. “In this case, we used replay to confirm that a hostile act had occurred.”

Pistons coach Dwane Casey said the explanation the officials gave him was that there was some residual issue from before that led to the call.

“The explanation I got was that (the official) thought (Diallo) was upset with him from the previous play,” Casey said. “I thought it was purely accidental.”

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard

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