Detroit Pistons buried by Celtics' 3-pointers in 118-110 loss

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BOSTON — The Detroit Pistons were given an excellent opportunity to go into the NBA All-Star break on a good note.

The Boston Celtics were without their top two point guards — star Kyrie Irving and the talented Terry Rozier — Wednesday night at TD Garden.

That didn’t stop the Celtics’ second-half 3-point barrage from burying the Pistons.

The Pistons (26-30) saw their four-game winning streak snapped with a 118-110 loss at TD Garden.

The Celtics (37-21) were able to exploit mismatches, forcing double-teams all over the court.

And they found shooters, as the Celtics were 10-for-22 from 3-point range in the second half. They were 16-for-39 for the game.

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Blake Griffin scored 20 of his game-high 32 points in the first half as he goes into the break as the Pistons’ lone representative at the NBA All-Star Game, which will be held in Charlotte on Sunday.

The Pistons go into the break in control of their playoff destiny. They have the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot.

Every Celtics starter scored in double figures with Marcus Smart (four 3-pointers) leading the way with 19 points.

The Celtics were coming off a tough victory at Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Andre Drummond scored 21 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and had four steals. Reggie Jackson scored 18 points.

Wayne Ellington, the newest Piston, scored 13 points, but was 3-for-10 from 3-point range

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Who guards Jayson Tatum?

Pistons coach Dwane Casey faced a tough dilemma.

Celtics promising standout Jayson Tatum had struggled in three previous games against the Pistons, scoring 13 points per game on 33 percent shooting.

One problem.

The two men largely responsible — Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson — were traded before the Feb. 7 deadline.

“This is a matchup-driven league,” Casey said before the game. “You can do somethings like blitzing or some other stuff, but it’s going to come down to a one-on-one situation and Tatum is one of the best in the league at drawing fouls, getting to the line, going where he wants to go. It’ll be a group effort to try and slow him down.”

Luke Kennard received the start at small forward and he shared defensive duties with rookie Bruce Brown against Tatum.

It wasn’t surprising to see Tatum have a good game after a slow start.

He finished with 19 points on 8-for-18 shooting.

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Game of momentum

The Celtics started the game on an 8-0 run.

A short time later, the Pistons answered with a 17-0 run.

The Celtics battled back with an 18-0 run.

All of the changes in momentum had occurred by the midway point of the second quarter.

The Celtics settled for a 57-52 lead at halftime.

Griffin scored 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting and was 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

More: NBA refs tell us why Bradley Beal didn’t travel vs. Detroit Pistons

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Published 10:16 PM EST Feb 13, 2019