There were Boston Celtics who had more points, rebounds and assists than Marcus Smart.
But make no mistake about it.
The Boston Celtics are a better team with Smart’s return, evident by them cruising to a 110-98 win over Detroit.
Smart was part of a strong second unit, tallying 12 points in his first game back after missing the previous 11 due to a laceration on his right hand that required 20 stitches to close after he punched a picture frame last month.
“I felt great,” Smart told NBC Sports Boston following the game. “This training staff did a good job of making sure I was still in shape and ready come back when I did come back.”
Within minutes of entering the game, Smart drained a 3-pointer which was part of a Celtics’ 3-point barrage in which they were collectively 17-for-39 on 3’s.
Said Boston’s Daniel Theis: “He (Smart) was great for us today.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 110-98 win over Detroit.
Daniel Theis: The 25-year-old rookie came up with one big hustle play after another. And when all was said and done, he had a career-high 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting to go with seven rebounds.
Ish Smith: For most of the night, he was the best player on the floor for the Detroit Pistons. He would lead Detroit with 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting along with six assists.
Celtics bench: This was one of the best games we’ve seen from Boston’s backups. Along with doing a solid job defensively, the Celtics’ bench absolutely dominated the game scoring the ball. For the night, they had a season-high 65 points scored.
Kyrie Irving: Irving did not have the monster game offensively, and the reason was clear: they didn’t need it. He had 18 points on 7-for-14 shooting which included four made 3’s, not to mention six assists.
Andre Drummond: He got off to a slow start, but Drummond’s play around the rim really picked up after the first quarter as he finished with a double-double of 15 points and 17 rebounds.
Blake Griffin: He had 17 points, but he was non-factor most of the game courtesy of some really strong play defensively by Al Horford. Griffin shot just 5-for-19 from the field and turned the ball over six times.