Celtics turn tables on Pistons, Oladipo shines
LOS ANGELES – Agence France-Presse
Al Horford led the way with 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Kyrie Irving added 16 points and Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown scored 12 apiece for the Celtics, who held the Pistons to season lows in points scored and field goal percentage in the 91-81 triumph.
"I wouldn't call it payback," star point guard Irving said. "It's just always good when you can respond the way you want to, especially on their home floor, just like they did on our home floor."
It was also good to get a win, Irving said, after a tough three-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 8 night.
"We were locked in," said Aron Baynes, who pulled down 13 rebounds for Boston and was primarily responsible for holding Detroit center Andre Drummond to a season-low six points.
His electrifying performance had chants of "M-V-P" ringing around Bankers Life Fieldhouse, but Oladipo isn't the kind of player to let the admiration go to his head.
"I've got a lot of work to do," he said. "I'm trying to be great. There's no in between, and I can't settle for anything less."
The Toronto Raptors posted their sixth straight win with a 102-87 victory over the Kings in Sacramento.
The Raptors now boast the third-best record in the East, but coach Dwane Casey saw plenty of room for improvement after his team squandered an early 15-point lead before taking control for good in the third period.
In New Orleans, the Pelicans used an 18-4 fourth-quarter scoring run to rally past the Philadelphia 76ers 131-124.
The Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Dallas Mavericks for the third time this season, hanging on for a 97-92 win in Minneapolis.
Center Karl-Anthony Towns scored 28 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who consolidated their fourth place in the West.