Celtics don't look past Pistons, get a ‘big win' for fourth straight


BOSTON – You hear the Boston Celtics and most NBA teams for that matter talk about taking things “one game at a time,” but Monday’s game against Detroit put that cliché to the test.

The Detroit Pistons (21-27) were Boston’s opponent at the moment, but would anyone have been surprised if they looked past the struggling Pistons and on to Wednesday’s foe, the Toronto Raptors who like the Celtics, are in the running to finish with one of the top-two records in the East?

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was asked about Monday being a potential trap-like game.

“Every game’s a dangerous game,” Stevens said. “There are no easy ones. It’s eighty-two games; if we don’t play well, if we don’t play with a sense of purpose, we will get beat.”

Purpose was indeed in plenty of supply for Boston, winning their fourth straight game after losing the previous three with a 113-109 win over the Pistons.

Offensively, the Celtics (30-18) executed down the stretch with points coming from free throws or free looks at the rim.

And defensively, Boston got all the big stops in the final seconds of play to hold on for the victory as they played with the necessary focus and attention needed to knock off a Detroit team that has played them well in recent years.

“It’s nice getting four wins in a row, but we got a big one on Wednesday,” Boston’s Jonas Jerebko told CSNNE.com following Monday’s victory.

Jerebko said avoiding Monday being a “trap game” was easy because of what happened when these two met on Nov. 30, a game that ended with a 121-114 home loss to the Pistons.

In that game, Detroit shot better than 55 percent from the field and 45 percent (9-for-20) from 3-point range. The Pistons crushed Boston on the boards that night, 58-38.

Monday was a much different game for the Pistons as Boston held them to 44.3 percent shooting from the field and just 11.1 percent (3-for-27) from 3-point range.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” Jerebko said. “They’ve beaten us before here. They had everybody healthy. That’s why this was a big win for us.”

And with the victory, the Celtics can move on to Wednesday’s game against the Raptors doing what they’ve done well of late – take things one game at a time.

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