Pistons play better, but Celtics hold on for won

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BOSTON, Ma. - Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 31 points, Marcus Morris had 15 points and nine rebounds and the Boston Celtics beat Detroit 108-105 on Tuesday night, handing the Pistons back-to-back losses after a 4-0 start.

Jayson Tatum scored 16, Jaylen Brown had 14 points and Al Horford scored 11 for Boston.

Blake Griffin had 24 points and 15 rebounds for Detroit, which couldn't recover after scoring just 13 points in the third quarter. The Pistons chopped Boston's 14-point lead down to a point with 4:21 left to play, and then again with 12 seconds remaining, but couldn't quite complete the comeback.

Boston, which beat Detroit on the road 109-89 on Saturday, is still the only team to beat the Pistons this season.

Andre Drummond had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Reggie Bullock scored 16 for Detroit. Ish Smith added 13 points off the bench and gave Detroit one more chance on a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to play, pulling Detroit within 103-102. But the Celtics sealed it from the foul line.

Tatum drew a foul and made both free shots with 10.5 seconds left, then Irving added two more from the line after Detroit turned the ball over on the inbound play.

The Pistons led 58-56 after a high-paced first half, but fell off in the third quarter, going 4 for 17 from the floor and missing all six attempts from 3-point range.

Irving took over in the third, scoring 13 and starting an early 10-0 run that put Boston up for good.

Griffin hit a pair of free throws with 4:38 left in the period to pull Detroit within 70-65, but Irving responded for the Celtics with three straight 3-pointers as Boston stretched the lead to 14 points late in the period.

Drummond got Detroit back in it in the fourth quarter after Griffin drove for a layup that cut Boston's lead to 88-84 with 6:01 left to play. Drummond drove for a dunk, blocked a shot by Tatum at the other end and was there to tip in a miss by Stanley Johnson to pull within 90-88.

The Celtics thought Drummond interfered with the ball while it was on the rim and called for a replay, which didn't happen but did get coach Brad Stevens a technical for coming out on the court to argue. Bullock made the foul shot to pull Detroit within a point, but Boston responded again with six straight points.

TIP-INS

Pistons: Drummond and Griffin scored 12 points apiece in the first half. . The Pistons exercised the club option on the contract of G Luke Kennard through next season. Kennard was inactive Tuesday with a sprained right shoulder. . Detroit outscored Boston 30-25 in the second quarter and led 58-56 at halftime. . Griffin picked up his fourth foul with 2:22 left in the third quarter.

Celtics: Irving's previous season high was 22 points. . F Daniel Theis was out with a plantar fascia tear in his right foot. . Horford was called for a three-second violation twice in the first quarter.

UP NEXT

Pistons: Continue a three-game road trip Wednesday night at Brooklyn.

Celtics: Host Milwaukee on Thursday night.