By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — All night on Monday at the TD Garden, the Detroit Pistons were fired up. The bench behind Stan Van Gundy was active all night, and the players on the court clearly came out determined to beat the Celtics.
The Pistons succeeded in that goal, and when Andre Drummond fought through an Al Horford foul while banking in a layup to put his team up by eight — and then nine with his free throw — he celebrated emphatically. Drummond stomped through the paint and chest-bumped a teammate, capping off an emotional victory on Boston’s home floor.
After a huge night for Drummond — who scored 26 points, grabbed 22 rebounds, and uncharacteristically hit six of his eight free throws — it was a well-earned celebration.
It was also a celebration that didn’t necessarily bother Kyrie Irving. But it’s one that Irving certainly noticed.
“It’s a tie game but you could just sense that they were in control for most of the game, just the physicality, and they brought it to the game,” Irving said after the loss. “It kind of makes you want to mark it down on the calendar to see them again, just by their reaction after winning the basketball game as well. You can tell they wanted it, and they came out and proved it.”
Irving, who scored 18 points with nine assists but also with six turnovers in the losing effort, admitted that when the Pistons threw double screens at him, he let it affect his play.
“Got into it a little bit, made me a uncomfortable, made me a little indecisive about those pick and rolls,” he said. “Usually I don’t let teams get to it, but this time it got to me a little bit, in terms of forcing me to the weak side and forcing me into a lot of different bodies. They had a game plan, they executed it.”
Irving added: “This one’s eating me a little bit, just because I know it’s a couple of decisions that could’ve made the turn — when it’s a two-point game or a four-point game and it turns into a six or eight-point game just based on a few empty possessions.”
The Celtics, now 18-4 on the year, will travel to Detroit (13-6) on Dec. 10 for a rematch.
“Can’t wait. Can’t wait. Can’t wait. It’s always exciting when you have these regular-season matchups, because you never know what can happen down the line. It’s always interesting because the way you respond, and I know that most of my teammates and the coaching staff will be a little bit more prepared to play those guys.”