BOSTON -- By looking at the box score, it would be easy to surmise the Detroit Pistons had beat the Boston Celtics.
The Pistons outrebounded the home team, 52-34, had a 26-7 advantage in second-chance points, scored 30 more points in the paint, attempted over 90 field goals, and dished the same number of assists (20).
But in the end, the Celtics walked away with a 98-93 win that left head coach Doc Rivers pleased with his team on both ends of the floor.
"We won a game when a team had 25 offensive rebounds, they had 22 more shots than us, and they had more free throws than us," Rivers said. "When you look at those numbers, we shot the hell out of the ball. We were over 50 percent and they didn't shoot the ball very well. They shot 37 percent, so that's why we won."
The Pistons finished the game shooting 36.6 percent from the field (34-93 FG), while the Celtics shot an efficient 50.7 percent (36-71 FG). The Pistons also shot 4-for-24 from long range (16.7 percent) compared to the Celtics 7-for-20 performance (35.0 percent).
After the game the Pistons defended their shot selection.
"I'll take them any time," said Charlie Villanueva, who scored four points off 2-for-17 shooting. "(It was) just a rough night for me offensively. Couldn't buy a basket, seemed like there was a lid on the rim for me."
The Celtics lead was cut to just one point with three minutes to go, but the Pistons could not convert to come through win a comeback win.
"We definitely had some great looks coming down the stretch at the end of the game," said Greg Monroe (24 points, 17 rebounds). "(They were) makable shots, people's shots they're very comfortable making. I would take those shots any night of the week."
Rivers praised the Celtics for countering the Pistons aggressive shooting night. The box score may have given one impression, but Rivers viewed it differently.
"It's funny, defensively you could make a case that we had an unbelievable defensive night," he said. "They took 22 more shots than you did and you still outscored them. That means you had to do a lot of good things defensively, and offensively you have to be efficient, too. And we were."