Published January 13, 2015
The Detroit Pistons return from a one-game trip to London on Sunday night to host the Boston Celtics at The Palace at Auburn Hills.
The Pistons fell to the New York Knicks, 102-87, at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday. The Pistons technically were the home team despite the 3,762 miles separating Detroit and London, but they play two in a row, starting Sunday in their own building.
Detroit, which has lost two in a row and three of four, fell behind by 12 after the first quarter and trailed by 15 at the half. The Pistons made a run to cut it to four, but the Knicks pulled away late for the victory.
Despite a largely pro-Knicks crowd, the Pistons offered no excuses.
"At the end of the day, it was still a game," Monroe said. "We were on a neutral court, that was about it. Us playing here in this arena, in London, didn't have anything to do with how we played."
The most veteran Piston agreed that the setting had nothing to do with the outcome.
"It was a packed house, which is something that hasn't been typical for us this year," said Tayshaun Prince. "The atmosphere was great. The arena was nice. There was no problem at all."
The Celtics lost back-to-back home contests after a six-game winning streak. The losses came to the New Orleans Hornets and the Chicago Bulls, who dispatched the C's, 100-99, in overtime Friday night.
Boston was led by 30 points from All Star Rajon Rondo and his fellow Eastern Conference starter, Kevin Garnett, added 16. Paul Pierce chipped in 13 and Brandon Bass had 10. Jared Sullinger grabbed 15 rebounds.
The Celtics played Friday night's contest without Avery Bradley, who played only eight games this season after a knee injury. Against the Hornets, Bradley injured his ribs and there wasn't enough improvement over the weekend to get him back into the lineup.
"Well, he just plays hard, and guys like that are going to get injured," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "That's fine by me. It really is. I want him to play the way he plays. He'll probably get better at it as his career goes on, and then have less and less (injuries)."
The Celtics haven't been on the road since a Jan. 7 victory over the New York Knicks. They've won two straight outside the TD Bank Garden and will play at Cleveland on Tuesday.
The Pistons won this season's only matchup, a 103-83 drubbing in Detroit. In fact, the Pistons have won three straight in this series, but the Celtics have five of its last nine in Detroit.