The Detroit Pistons have improved quickly this season, 7-3 in February after starting the season 4-19. But that doesn't mean the club should be beating the Boston Celtics twice in the span of a week. Detroit took Boston to the house again on Sunday, capitalizing on a big second quarter and holding on to win 96-81 at the Palace.
Rajon Rondo was ejected for throwing the ball at an official, but even when he was in the game Boston struggled mightily with turnovers. The team racked 22 giveaways in 93 possessions, with Rondo leading the way with six in 28 minutes. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen had five and four apiece. That stood in stark contrast to Detroit's 14 assists, and helped the Pistons win by double-digits despite shooting just 37.8 percent from the floor.
Greg Monroe looked like the best player on the floor, and probably was. MonRobocop finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and three assists; his line would have been better had he hit more than one of his seven free throw attempts. He's been a 77 percent free-throw shooter on the season, so this performance was uncharacteristic.
In other action:
Timberwolves 92, Sixers 91: This was one of two games in which a solid defender committed a critical, terrible foul while up by a point with seconds left. In this one, Andre Iguodala -- an All-Star largely because of his defensive prowess -- fouled a driving Kevin Love with Philly up by one, sending the big man to the line with 0.1 seconds left. Love hit both, and that's all she wrote. Ricky Rubio scored a career-high 22 points.
Cavaliers 93, Kings 92: Here's the other instance of the bad foul -- with Sacramento up one on the road, Tyreke Evans fouled a driving Kyrie Irving, sending the rookie to the line with 0.4 seconds left. Irving hit both, and the Kings' tip attempt(s) were ineffective. The Kings dropped their fifth straight and ruined a perfectly good 23-point, 11-assist, 8-rebound game from Isaiah Thomas.