BOSTON – Jayson Tatum scored 19 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 118-110 win over the Detroit Pistons, who saw their run of four consecutive victories come to an end on Wednesday at the TD Garden.
The Celtics (37-21) secured their second win in a row after Tuesday’s victory against the Philadelphia 76ers, and improved their record at home to 23-8, placing them in fourth in the Eastern Conference heading into the All-Star weekend midseason break.
Tatum was one of seven players to score in double digits, an impressive collective contribution, particularly considering the absences of Kyrie Irving (knee) and Terry Rozier (illness).
Gordon Hayward made just his second start since Nov. 19, adding 18 points and eight assists, while Al Horford put up a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Hayward played down the effects of the team’s missing starters, saying the squad’s depth and options from the bench are some of the club’s main strengths.
“There’s been times over the course of the seasons where I’ve played with all the guys. I think we’re used to switching up line-ups,” Hayward said after the game.”We’re used to guys are coming in and out.”
Horford praised Hayward’s return to the line-up, and said he hoped he would be fit and ready for the postseason tilt at the NBA title.
“Happy to see him being aggressive and attacking the basket. It’s been a long road for him. He just keeps making strides,” the Dominican said.
In the 31 minutes of play, Horford made six-of-12 field goal attempts, including three out of five three-pointers, as well as two free throws and eight assists.
“We were really locked in on what we were supposed to do,” he said oncourt afterwards. “Those guys are great players and we did a good job containing them all night.”
“I had good rhythm, we had a lot of energy feeding off of last night’s win,” he added.
The Pistons (26-30) who are eighth in the Eastern Conference, were led by Blake Griffin’s 32 points, while Andre Drummond had a double-double of 21 points and 17 rebounds, with Reggie Jackson scoring 18.
The Celtics are set to play against the Milwaukee Bucks, who are leading the Eastern Conference, next week after the All-Star break.