Sometimes, a glimpse at the box score tells the game story
The Detroit Pistons shot 9-for-33 (27.3%) from behind-the-arc on Monday. The Boston Celtics shot 16-for-37 (43.2%). The 21-point disparity from 3-point range was tough for the Pistons to overcome, and a hot third quarter from Jayson Tatum gave the Celtics the extra push needed to pull away with a 111-99 win over the Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.
Tatum led all scorers with 34 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds and dished six assists. He overcame a cold first quarter and scored 18 in the third period. Derrick White (23 points, seven rebounds, seven assists) and Robert Williams III (15 points, 15 rebounds) also stepped up to help Boston overcome the absence of Jaylen Brown (non-COVID illness) and Marcus Smart (right ankle sprain).
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Bojan Bogdanovic led Detroit with 21 points, Killian Hayes finished with 17 points and nine assists and Isaiah Stewart (10 points, 12 rebounds) and Jalen Duren (seven points, 14 rebounds) both grabbed double-digits boards. Detroit’s poor shooting affected their final overall percentage, as they shot 42.5% overall. It was otherwise a solid night for the offense, which produced 22 assists against just nine turnovers.
Hayes leads late comeback attempt
After closing 2022 with a scoring surge, Hayes had been cold in 2023 before his late outburst on Monday. In his last 13 games, Hayes had shot just 38.6% overall and 30.6% from 3. The coaching staff moved him to the bench against the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 26 after 32 consecutive starts.
The Pistons trailed by 18 entering the fourth quarter. Hayes opened the period with a 3-pointer, and he powered a 19-7 run that allowed Detroit to cut the deficit to six, 97-91, at the 6:45 mark. Hayes knocked down three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the opening six minutes of the quarter, giving him double digits in the scoring column for the first time in five games.
Tatum started the fourth quarter on the bench, taking a deserved rest after an 18-point third quarter. But he checked back in at the 7:54 mark and helped Boston close out strong, hitting a pair of free throws and a bucket at the rim in the final three minutes to extend the Celtics’ lead back to double digits.
Tatum overcomes slow start, buries Pistons in third
The Pistons trailed, 26-25, after the first quarter despite missing eight of nine 3-pointers. A cold start from Tatum had a lot to do with it, as the MVP candidate missed his first five shots before getting his first field goal to fall at the 2:14 mark. Al Horford also had a rough opening quarter, missing five of six shots.
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Tatum had a quiet first half, scoring just 12 points on 3-for-13 shooting. He made up for it after halftime. He scored 18 points in the third quarter, knocking down seven of his eight attempts to reach 30 points before the final period.
The game turned in Boston’s favor in the third, as the Pistons were outscored, 30-19, and trailed by as many as 23 while shooting 7-for-23. It was a perfect storm of Tatum’s usual excellence and the Celtics, who were without Smart, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, slowing down Detroit’s offense. locking down defensively.
Contact Omari Sankofa II at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa.