AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Al Horford’s follow shot with 1.3 seconds left gave the Boston Celtics a 94-92 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.
Isaiah Thomas had 24 points and eight assists for Boston, while Horford added 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Marcus Morris led Detroit with 24 points and Andre Drummond had 20 points and 17 rebounds. The Pistons became the last NBA team to lose at home.
The teams traded the lead for most of the fourth quarter, and Kentavious Caldwell Pope’s 3-pointer — his first basket of the game — gave the Pistons an 87-86 lead with 1:54 left. The teams traded dunks, and Thomas hit a layup over Drummond with 1:10 to play to make it 90-89.
Caldwell-Pope missed an open 3, making him 1 for 7 on the night, and Drummond fouled Thomas on another drive. He made both free throws with 30.5 seconds left to give the Celtics a three-point lead, but Tobias Harris hit a tying 3-pointer.
Jae Crowder missed a baseline 3 and Marcus Smart missed a tip-in, but Horford got to the ball and his tip dropped with 1.3 seconds left. Horford then blocked Aron Baynes’ jumper at the buzzer.
The Celtics were 6 of 10 on 3-pointers in the first quarter, including Thomas’ buzzer-beater, to take a 30-23 lead. Boston didn’t keep up the same pace in the second, hitting two of seven shots from behind the arc, but still led 50-47 at halftime.
Detroit got 37 points from its starting frontcourt in the half, but guards Ish Smith and Caldwell-Pope had three points on 1-of-5 shooting. Boston’s backcourt of Avery Bradley and Thomas combined for 18 points and nine assists.
The Pistons used a 10-0 run to take the lead midway through the third quarter, and still had a 73-71 advantage at quarter’s end.
Celtics: Thomas started the second half with a four-point possession. He hit a free throw after the Pistons were called for a defensive three-second violation, then knocked down his second 3-pointer of the game.
Pistons: Stanley Johnson, normally one of the Detroit’s top bench players, didn’t play. . Drummond pulled down his 4,000th career rebound in the third quarter.
BULLOCK RETURNS TO THE ROTATION
After recovering from hip and back problems, Reggie Bullock made his season debut in Friday night’s lopsided loss to Cleveland, playing eight minutes. Against Boston, Bullock was back in the rotation as the first guard off the Pistons bench.
Celtics: Travel to Minneapolis to play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.
Pistons: Host the Houston Rockets on Monday.
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