NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 15th (All times eastern)
Detroit Pistons (23-43) at Boston Celtics (41-24), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics hope to bounce back from a tough loss in Cleveland on Sunday when they welcome Eastern Conference also-ran Detroit to Beantown.
In a possible playoff preview the C's came up short against the Cavs when LeBron James ended with 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Cleveland to a convincing 104-93 victory over Boston at Quicken Loans Arena.
Ray Allen led the Celtics with 20 points, while Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett each netted 18 for the Celtics, who have lost three of four following a four- game winning streak. Rajon Rondo had 16 points, eight boards and six helpers in the setback.
"We couldn't get over the hump," Garnett said. "We fell back, we felt like we were right there, but we couldn't turn that corner."
The Pistons continue to play out the string and are coming off a 112-99 loss to Atlanta in Dixie on Saturday. Joe Johnson finished with 26 points in that one, as the Hawks used an efficient offensive performance to take the win.
Jason Maxiell had 19 points and 12 boards for the Pistons, who are virtually assured of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2000-01. Will Bynum, who had a career-best 20 assists vs. the Wizards last Friday, ended with 16 points and seven assists.
Richard Hamilton scored 18 points, but Detroit had just 12 points in the first quarter and never caught up.
"I think that's what hurt us," Pistons head coach John Kuester said. "I thought we were trying, but we were not taking care of the basketball, and they were making us pay on that in the first half."
Bynum is in the starting lineup for Rodney Stuckey, who missed his fourth straight game after collapsing on the bench during a loss in Cleveland on March 5. Extensive cardiac tests last Wednesday provided some good news for Stuckey, who is averaging a career-best 17.1 points per game. He has been allowed to resume exercising but there is no timetable for his return to the floor.
Meanwhile, rookie forward Jonas Jerebko injured his shoulder against the Hawks and is questionable for tonight's contest.
These team teams have split a pair of meetings in Auburn Hills so far this season.
03/15 10:54:00 ET