Struggling Celtics search for success versus Pistons

The slumping Boston Celtics are still trying to secure their spot in the playoffs and will welcome the Detroit Pistons to the TD Garden.

The Celtics have dropped two straight and seven of their last nine. They're still in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but trail the Chicago Bulls by three games for the sixth spot.

Boston is just 1 1/2 games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern playoffs.

During this poor stretch, the Celtics have allowed 100-plus points in seven of the nine games. Kevin Garnett has been absent through much of that time and that could be an easy explanation as to why the defense has struggled.

"We need to perform defensively regardless of who is in uniform," said Jason Terry. "It hasn't been up to standard. It will be though, we are very optimistic. Going forward, we know how we have to play. It starts with our defense."

On Monday, the Celtics visited the Minnesota Timberwolves and fell 110-100. Paul Pierce, along with Garnett, missed the contest, but six Celtics scored in double figures, led by 19 from Avery Bradley.

Pierce's availability for Wednesday is unknown. He missed the T'Wolves' game due to a sore right ankle/personal reasons.

The Pistons snapped a three-game losing streak on Monday in Jose Calderon's homecoming to Toronto. Detroit knocked off the Raptors, 108-98.

"It is hard to explain but it felt great," said Calderon, who accidentally walked into the Raptors locker room at halftime. "I think it is going to be one of the better moments in my career for sure."

Calderon played a game-high 43 minutes and had 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting. Calderon also handed out nine assists after a midseason trade sent him from the Raptors to the Pistons.

Greg Monroe led the way with 24 points as he started at power forward. Jason Maxiell is out with injury and rookie Andre Drummond is starting at center.

The bench was sensational for the Pistons on Monday. Rodney Stuckey netted 18, followed by 15 from Jonas Jerebko and Khris Middleton's 11. The bench accounted for 51 points.

The Pistons' victory was nice, but Detroit is in a bad funk. The Pistons have lost 16 of their last 19 and went 1-13 in the month of March.

The Pistons have taken both of this season's matchups and have won four in a row in this series. Detroit is 1-4 in its last five in Boston.