Having lost three straight and four of their last five games, no one knew for sure what to expect from the Boston Celtics coming out of the All-Star break.
The time off was just what the Celtics needed to get their timing back at both ends of the floor, taking over in the first half against Detroit in cruising to a 110-98 win.
Boston’s bench delivered their best performance of the season, tallying a season-high 65 points which included a career-high 19 points from Daniel Theis. Ish Smith led the Pistons (28-30) with 20 points. Blake Griffin had 17 points and Andre Drummond tallied a double-double of 15 points and 17 rebounds.
The Celtics were particularly effective from 3-point range, shooting a solid 17-for-39 that was instrumental in Boston (41-19) beating Detroit for the second time in the third – and final – matchup of the season unless these two square off again in the playoffs.
Boston trailed 28-23 after the first quarter, but began to establish control in the second by closing the half out with a 24-10 run to lead 61-49 at the half.
The Celtics refused to allow Detroit back into the game in the third quarter, not allowing the Pistons to get any closer than four points.
And just like they did in the second quarter, Boston closed out the quarter with a nice surge, scoring seven of the last nine points of the quarter to lead 86-77 going into the fourth.
BOSTON -- Kyrie Irving has had a second opinion on his sore left knee, and a decision on what the next step will be is expected to be made within the next day or two, according to a league source.
The medical officials involved in the initial evaluation will meet with those who examined him today, to compare notes and determine what’s in the best interest of Irving going forward.
While surgery is a possibility, the source indicated that the current course of treatment, which consists primarily of rest, remains a consideration.
The concerns regarding Irving’s knee are to be of the short-term variety, with the source indicating reports that there are long-term concerns with the knee are “just wrong.”
In his first season with the Celtics, Irving has appeared in 60 games in what has been one of his most efficient seasons as a scorer.
He’s averaging 24.4 points per game while shooting a career-high 49.1 percent from the field. The five-time all-star is shooting 40.8 percent from 3-point range this season in addition to dishing out 5.1 assists along with grabbing a career-high 3.8 rebounds.
BOSTON – The first member of the Brad Stevens’ coaching tree is about to take off. Celtics assistant coach Walter McCarty is expected to be named head coach at Evansville University.
McCarty, an Evansville, Ind. native, was selected over a field of candidates that included former Indiana University standout Calbert Cheaney and David Ragland who, like McCarty, is an Evansville native.
The 6-foot-10 McCarty, a 10-year NBA veteran with seven-plus spent with the Celtics, has been part of Stevens’ coaching staff since 2013. The former Celtic has been a college assistant coach at Louisville (2007-2010) in addition to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers (2010-2011).