Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills
AUBURN HILLS – (Special Preview for Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – The Boston Celtics will try to stop a rare losing streak when they visit the Detroit Pistons on Sunday. Following a controversial loss at Chicago before the All-Star break, the Celtics let a 17-point lead slip away in a 107-97 setback at Toronto on Friday.
It gives them consecutive defeats for just the second time in 2017 and puts them in danger of matching their longest slide of the season. “We played harder in the first half and they played harder in the second,” All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas told reporters. “They got to loose balls, 50-50 balls were theirs. They pushed us out offensively and we were catching balls beyond the 3-point line, denying us. They played better than us tonight.” The Pistons were victorious in their first game out of the break – a 114-108 triumph in overtime against Charlotte on Thursday – and they’ve won seven of their last 10. The relative hot stretch began following a 113-109 loss at Boston on Jan. 30, which gave the Celtics a 2-1 advantage in the season series.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, CSN New England (Boston), FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE CELTICS (37-21): As Thomas goes, so go the Celtics, and while he extended his franchise record of consecutive games with at least 20 points to 42 straight in the loss to Toronto, he did not get any higher than that mark in his smallest output since Nov. 18. Thomas has shot under 50 percent in five straight games – his longest such stretch since November – and is shooting 43.9 percent on the road – compared to 49 percent at home. Boston will be looking for more from center Al Horford, who has a total of 15 points and seven rebounds in 57 minutes over his last two games.
ABOUT THE PISTONS (28-30): Both center Andre Drummond and guard Reggie Jackson were held out down the stretch in the win over Charlotte and Jackson continues to lose playing time as his production wanes. He is averaging 9.4 points on 36.3 percent from the field in February after posting a 19.6 mark while shooting 46.4 percent in the previous month. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope picked up the slack versus the Hornets with 33 points and he has zero turnovers in 80 minutes over his last two games.
1. Thomas had 24 points and eight assists in the first game at Detroit earlier this season, a 94-92 victory for the Celtics.
2. Drummond still managed 12 points and 13 rebounds against Charlotte to pick up his 38th double-double, which ranks fifth in the NBA.
3. Celtics G Avery Bradley (Achilles) has missed 17 consecutive contests but is with the team on the trip and nearing a return.