Third quarter collapse dooms Celtics, 115-111

Third quarter collapse dooms Celtics, 115-111
April 5, 2014, 10:00 pm
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — After having led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter, the Boston Celtics sputtered when it mattered most which allowed the Detroit Pistons to run away with a 115-111 win.

Even after losing the lead in the fourth quarter, the Celtics still managed to regroup themselves and go ahead 111-107 with 2:51 to play after 5-foot-11 Phil Pressey tipped in a missed shot over Detroit's Kyle Singler who is 6-8.

From there, the Celtics offense became straight-up offensive, and did not generate a single point for the remainder of the game.

Rodney Stuckey, who had a game-high 26 points off the bench for Detroit, made a pair of free throws with 57.6 seconds to play that gave the Pistons a 113-111 lead.

After exchanging misses, the Celtics had one last chance to tie or go for the win.

On the road, with the kind of season the Celtics have had?

There was no hesitation on Jerryd Bayless' part in launching a 3-pointer which rimmed in and out. He still finished with a team-high 25 points

Detroit's Brandon Jennings was fouled with 5.6 seconds to play, making both free throws to seal the Pistons victory.

Making the loss even tougher to swallow than some recent setbacks was that for so much of this game, maybe more than any within the past week or two, the Celtics were doing all the things they have said had to be done in order to win.

The ball was moving side to side.

They were closing out on Detroit's shooters, while holding their own on the boards and for a good chunk of the game, actually winning the war in the paint.

But it all came to a screeching halt in the third quarter as Detroit finished the quarter with a 22-13 spurt that cut Boston's lead to just 10 points.

And so Boston (23-54) extends its losing streak to eight straight while the Pistons (28-49) keep their slim playoff hopes alive for another day.