BOSTON — There was ball-sharing, shot-making and a defensive effort that for the most part, wasn't too shabby for the Boston Celtics.
And yet it still wasn't enough to win, not even after the Celtics' efforts allowed them to build a lead in the second half that peaked at 19.
But it wasn't enough as the Celtics once again squandered an opportunity to win as the Detroit Pistons rallied in the closing minutes to defeat Boston 115-111.
"This is a tough one," said a visibly disappointed Brandon Bass who had 18 points and six rebounds. "Really, really tough one."
The Pistons stepped up their defensive intensity and forced Boston into committing more turnovers which took the Celtics out of what had been a really good rhythm shooting the ball.
But the biggest setback for Boston had to do with a series of defensive breakdowns.
"We made a boat load of shots there in a row, and then we let off the gas in transition defensively a couple of times," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "Now, instead of a 19-point game, it's a 13 or 12-point game and the momentum is swinging and your shots get tougher and there's get freer. We've seen that time and time again in this league."
And with that, here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Boston's eighth straight loss which is one short of tying their season-long losing streak of nine.
He continues to fill whatever scoring void is needed for the Celtics. Bayless led all Celtics with 25 points on 10-for-19 shooting. He was 5-for-6 on 3s. Unfortunately, the lone miss was a potential game-winner in the closing seconds that rimmed in and out.
He played slightly more than 24 minutes, but made the most of his time on the floor as a scorer and a defender. He finished with 11 points on 4-for-6 shooting along with nine rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
Points in the paint
You knew going into the game that Boston would have problems dealing with Detroit's massive frontline as well as point guard Brandon Jennings' dribble penetration. For the game, Detroit outscored Boston 50-32 on points in the paint.
For a team that spent so much of the game playing the right way, for this to end up in a loss seems like cruel and unusual punishment. Unfortunately, it has been an all-too common finish for the Celtics this season. "You can live with a defeat like this," said Jared Sullinger who had 22 points and 10 rebounds for his team-leading 21st double-double this season. "You can't live with a defeat like (Friday's loss to Philadelphia) and Washington."