Horford, Irving lead Celtics revival against Pistons

DETROIT (Michigan) • Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics took some extra satisfaction from defeating the slumping Detroit Pistons on the road.

The Celtics had allowed a season-high 118 points in a National Basketball Association (NBA) home loss to the Pistons on Nov 27. By clogging the lane, Boston flipped the script on Sunday.

They held the Pistons to season lows in points and field-goal percentage in a 91-81 victory at Little Caesars Arena.

Eastern Conference leaders Boston (23-5), who have won five of their last six games, were coming off a three-point road loss at San Antonio on Friday.

"I wouldn't call it payback," said Irving, the Celtics' star point guard. "It's just always good when you can respond the way you want to, especially on their home floor, just like they did on our home floor.

"We not only responded to that loss at home but also to a tough Spurs loss."

He scored 16 points while power forward Al Horford had 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

Aron Baynes snared a season-high 13 rebounds for the Celtics, who overcame a scoring drought of more than six minutes in the fourth quarter.

Baynes was primarily responsible for holding Pistons centre Andre Drummond to a season-low six points, 20 fewer than he had in the first meeting.

"We were locked in," Baynes said. "We were trying to pack the paint and make them make plays from the outside. Last time, they really had whatever they wanted inside the paint."

Detroit shot 33.3 per cent (28-for-84) from the field in their sixth consecutive loss.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2017, with the headline 'Horford, Irving lead Celtics revival against Pistons'. Print Edition | Subscribe