Boston Celtics

Celtics-Pistons takeaways: Brown, Pritchard lead C's to eighth straight win

Boston started its six-game road trip with a victory in Detroit.

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What to Know

  • Jaylen Brown sets the tone
  • Payton Pritchard stays hot
  • Sam Hauser doesn't miss a beat

The Boston Celtics started their six-game road trip with a win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, their eighth consecutive victory.

After a tightly contested first quarter, the C's tightened up their defense and took control. They went from trailing by one with 7:30 left in the second quarter to taking a 16-point lead into the half.

From there, the first-place team in the Eastern Conference asserted its dominance over the second-worst team in the league. Boston cruised to a 129-102 win to improve to an NBA-best 56-14 on the season.

The Celtics were victorious despite missing Jayson Tatum (ankle), Jrue Holiday (shoulder), and Al Horford (toe). Jaylen Brown stepped up with a game-high 33 points while Payton Pritchard contributed 20 points in his third start of the campaign. Derrick White finished two rebounds shy of his second triple-double with 19 points, 11 assists, and eight boards.

James Wiseman scored a team-high 24 points for Detroit. Jaden Ivey and Cade Cunningham added 16 and 15, respectively.

Boston will visit the Chicago Bulls (34-36) for the second night of a back-to-back on Saturday. First, here are three takeaways from Friday's game.

Jaylen Brown can't miss

Brown entered Friday averaging 32.5 points when Tatum has been out this season. He raised that number in Detroit.

As he's done all year, the three-time All-Star got off to a fast start with 10 first-quarter points. He was virtually automatic from the field, drilling eight of his nine shots in the first half.

Brown's hot shooting continued in the second half. He ended up 10-of-11 on 2-pointers and 3-of-8 from beyond the arc. Along with his game-high 33 points, he was a force on the defensive end with four steals.

Since the All-Star break, Brown has taken his game to another level. The 27-year-old is averaging 28.8 points per game in that span.

Payton Pritchard still scorching

The best stretch of Pritchard's career continued Friday night at Little Caesars Arena

The C's guard entered the matchup averaging 18.7 points and shooting 52.5 percent from the floor (21-for-40) over his last three games. He carried the momentum from his 19-point outburst vs. Milwaukee into Detroit, dropping 16 points and dishing seven assists in the first half.

He capped off an eight-point first quarter with a buzzer-beater:

According to Celtics stats guru Dick Lipe, Pritchard is only the fourth Celtic in the play-by-play era to have at least 16 points, four 3-pointers, and seven assists in the first half. Derrick White, Marcus Smart, and Paul Pierce are the other three who have accomplished the feat.

Pritchard finished with 20 points (8-15 FG, 4-9 3-PT) and nine assists. The C's will look for him to stay hot while filling in for fellow guard Jrue Holiday, who's reportedly dealing with "dead arm" and has no timetable for his return.

Sam Hauser picks up where he left off

Hauser returned to the floor after missing two games with the left ankle sprain he suffered during his historic performance in Washington D.C. The Celtics' sharpshooter didn't hesitate to let it fly.

He quickly showed he hasn't lost his shooting touch, tallying 11 points in the first half on 3-of-8 shooting from deep.

While Hauser wasn't as efficient as that memorable night vs. the Wizards, he still did damage for the second unit. He led all bench players on both teams with 14 points and was 4-of-11 from beyond the arc in his 24 minutes.

Hauser has scored in double figures in four of his last five games. Like Pritchard, he's in the midst of perhaps the most productive stretch of his career. Both players should have every opportunity to keep their hot streaks going Saturday night in Chicago.

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