After dropping a game in Detroit on Friday, the Celtics entered Sunday afternoon’s matchup with the Pistons looking to split the two-game series in Detroit but found themselves once again in a precarious position late.
This time, however, they had the answers on both ends of the floor to emerge with a 122-120 victory and improve to 4-3 on the season, thanks to the tremendous efforts of their star wing duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Brown finished the game with 31 points to lead Boston, with his most notable effort coming with the Celtics trailing by one late when Tatum found him on the wing for an open three to give them a two-point lead.
Detroit would tie the game on the next possession, and once again the Celtics had Tatum initiate the action. This time, when he got the switch he wanted he went to work on Blake Griffin, shaking the big man for an open pull-up jumper on the elbow. On the Pistons next possession, it was Tatum’s turn to play hero on the defensive end as well, as he got a hand on Griffin’s late heave to secure a Boston win.
🔥 GO-AHEAD JUMPER.
🚫 BLOCK AT THE BUZZER.
🚨 TATUM WINS IT ON BOTH ENDS. pic.twitter.com/TlPwQ7VuQ3
— NBA (@NBA) January 3, 2021
It has been hard work for the Celtics in just about every game this season, as now three of their four wins have come by five points or fewer, but with Kemba Walker out they have to be pleased with every win they get as they continue to try and figure out exactly what rotations look like. In a season in which it feels like the majority of teams are struggling to find consistency, Boston’s start is far from a disaster. The good news is that Tatum and Brown have been excellent, the big question going forward is how long it will take for them to get everyone else going — and get the defense back to where it was a year ago.