Celtics lose, extend streak

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Even with six players in double figures, the Boston Celtics fell to the Detroit Pistons 109-102 on Tuesday night. The loss extends the franchise-record losing streak of the Celtics to 15 games.

The Celtics could not keep up with the Pistons during the game, falling behind 16 points at halftime and 22 points after three periods. A rally by the Celtics in the fourth period gave Boston a glimmer of hope but Detroit's starters returned to hold off the Celtics.

Pistons coach Flip Saunders was not pleased by the effort his team gave in the fourth quarter. "Your main guys should have the opportunity to sit down and ice in the fourth quarter of a game like that," he said. "We had to bring those guys back with five minutes left to make sure we won the thing." A 16-2 run by the Celtics midway through the final quarter brought the team back to within 10 points of the Pistons, but the Detroit starters returned after a timeout to quash the burgeoning Celtics rally.

Doc Rivers, Celtics coach, was less enthused by his team's late run.

"I'm not going to put a lot of stock in that. I'm not sure how much the other team was still competing at that point." Adding to the team's woes was the news that star Paul Pierce was sent home by team doctors with an infection in his left elbow. This latest development will push Pierce's return to the lineup beyond the All-Star break. Pierce has missed the last 23 games with a foot injury.

While the Celtics trailed by only 5 points after one quarter, the Pistons shot 72% from the field in the second quarter, led by Antonio McDyess with 10 points. Rivers attributed the problem to the team's bench play. "The bench really put us in a hole in the second quarter - it was a five-point game when they went in there."

The Pistons are next at home against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, while the Celtics return home to face the Miami Heat this evening.

Game notes

  • The Pistons' Richard Hamilton earned a double-double, with 10 points and 11 assists. The Celtics' Rajon Rondo almost earned one as well but fell two points short, with 8 points and 11 assists.
  • Both teams had six players in double figures.
  • The Celtics are now 2-21 since Pierce went down with his injury. Despite this, Pierce still leads the team in scoring.