By LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) — The Boston Celtics prevented Andre Drummond from scoring in the paint and quieted Reggie Jackson on the perimeter.
That helped Boston get revenge from a rare loss in a 91-81 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
When Detroit beat the Celtics last month, Drummond scored 26 points and Jackson had 20. In the rematch, Drummond didn’t make a shot until late in the game and finished with just six points on 1-of-5 shooting while Jackson was 0 for 9 with two points.
“We were locked in,” said Boston center Aron Baynes said. “Our offense wasn’t as crisp as we wanted it to be, but defensively we had a game plan and we stuck with it.
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.”
The Eastern Conference-leading Celtics bounced back from a loss Friday night at San Antonio, extending their feat of losing consecutive games only once this season.
“We responded not only to that loss at home (to Detroit), but also to the tough Spurs loss,” said Boston’s Kyrie Irving, who scored 16 points. “We want to continue to build character and identity for our team and be responsive with a quick turnaround.”
Al Horford had 18 points, Jaylen Brown scored 12, reserve Marcus Smart also had 12 points and smooth-shooting rookie Jayson Tatum scored 11 for the Celtics. Tatum made a 3-pointer late to help hold off a potential comeback by the Pistons, putting Boston ahead by eight points with 1:55 left.
Boston shut down the Pistons’ offense after giving up a season-high 118 points on 52 percent shooting in the loss to them. On Sunday, the Celtics held Detroit to a season low in points and forced it to miss two-thirds of its shots.
Baynes kept a hand, arm or shoulder on Drummond while defending him, keeping him out of the lane as much as possible.
“They never took a body off him, and we could never take advantage of it,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said. “He got shots for other guys, but we didn’t make any of them.”
The Pistons have lost six straight for the first time since late in the 2014-15 season.
“We’ve lost some confidence and we need to get it back,” Van Gundy said. “We knew we were going to play a month unlike anyone else in the NBA, and we started it well, but now it has gotten bad.”
Celtics: Marcus Morris, who was acquired in last summer’s trade with Detroit for Bradley, didn’t play and is expected to sit out the next game before having his left knee evaluated in Boston. … Horford left the game briefly in the first half, favoring his right leg as he limped off the court.
“I just banged knees,” Horford said.
Pistons: Tobias Harris scored 19, reserve Anthony Tolliver had 15 points and Avery Bradley scored 12 against his former team. Ish Smith added 11 points off the bench, taking advantage of an opportunity to play in place of the cold-shooting Jackson.
“We had a lot of open shots, but I think someone put a lid on the basket,” Jackson said. “I couldn’t get anything to go down.”
HE SAID IT
“My job is to be a truth teller for these guys,” Van Gundy said. “When they were 10-3, they weren’t as good as everyone was saying. And now that they have lost six straight, they aren’t as bad as everyone is saying.”
Celtics: Wrap up a three-game road trip Monday night at Chicago.
Pistons: End a three-game homestand Tuesday night against Denver.
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