The Boston Celtics look to continue their impressive form of late when they hit the Palace of Auburn Hills to meet the Detroit Pistons, a team that is clearly showing a form that is anything but impressive.
The Pistons finally collected their first victory of the season on Wednesday with a 94-76 thumping of the 76ers in Philadelphia. In their first game after that elusive win, the Pistons lost at home to the Orlando Magic, 110-106 on Friday.
The Pistons were up 13 points with 2:57 remaining in the third quarter, but were outscored 48-31 in that final 15 minutes.
"We scored 31 points in the fourth quarter, score 106 points and lose? Completely opposite of what we did in Philadelphia," said Pistons coach Lawrence Frank.
The Pistons rank 24th in the league in both scoring and opponents' scoring. Nothing is working for Detroit, which is 0-3 at home.
The Celtics got a boost on Saturday afternoon when Rajon Rondo returned after a one-game absence with a sprained ankle. All he did was record 20 assists and extend his streak of 10-plus assists in a game to 33, which is third in NBA history.
"There's been a couple (like Rondo). Jason Kidd in his heyday, Magic (Johnson) all the time, (John) Stockton," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "But think about it: I've named four or five guys. The league has been around a long time. So it's not a lot, and he's one of them. He's a rare bird. I mean, he really is."
Four Celtics scored in double-figures on Saturday, led by 20 from Jason Terry. Paul Pierce added 19, Kevin Garnett had 15, but rookie Jared Sullinger really provided a spark off the bench. The Ohio State product had 12 points and 11 boards in 26 minutes for his first double-double in the NBA.
The 100-point mark means a lot to the Celtics. In their six victories, Boston held its opponents under that magic number, but in its four losses, three of the teams reached 100 points. The lone loss when the other team didn't get to the century mark came against the Milwaukee Bucks and they posted 99 points on Nov. 2.
After Sunday's tilt with the Pistons, the Celtics have two huge home games this week. The San Antonio Spurs come to the TD Bank Garden Wednesday and the Oklahoma City Thunder arrive on Friday.
The Pistons took two of the three matchups last season and are 10-5 in their last 15 games hosting the Celtics.