One thing the Boston Celtics were missing a year ago was dominance in the paint.
Tonight, they saw some remedy to their woes with a dominating performance in the paint and a 92-90 win over the Pistons in the final scheduled game for Detroit in the Orlando Summer League.
Detroit had a chance again late in the fourth quarter. With 50 seconds to go, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope nailed a three to cut it to five. After a Phil Pressey open layup, KCP drew a foul after a made floater and sunk the free throw to cut it to four with just 22 seconds to play.
After going 1/4 from the free throw line, the Celtics defense gave up another three from KCP to make it 91-89.
Phil Pressey would head to the line after a foul on the inbound. He’d go 1/2 at the line to set up a game tying possession chance for the Pistons with 3.5 seconds to play.
After a timeout, Tim Ohlbrecht was fouled on the inbound and went from one for two at the line. On the missed second the Celtic’s Marcus Smart stepped out of bounds on the far sideline with .4 seconds to play.
It set up one last chance for the Pistons. KCP hoisted a three from the wing that banked off the glass and missed the rim.
The undoubted Orlando Summer League MVP finished with 26 points on 8/22 shooting. Caldwell-Pope had a hard time finding his range though — shooting just 3/10 from downtown.
Ian Miller had another fantastic showing at point guard. The Florida State product stepped in for the injured Peyton Siva and scored 16 points, despite turning the basketball over five times.
In the post, Brian Cook and Justin Harper both impressed at times. It was Harper though that really shined. His game today proved that he is best overall power forward on the Summer League roster.
He shot a perfect 7/7 from the floor in less than 20 minutes of play — including a 4/4 showing from beyond the arc. Harper finished with 19 points.
Cook had a strong third quarter, that included to knockdown threes and a baseline drive off a pump fake that ended in a two handed jam. The veteran had 14 points on 4/7 shooting from downtown.
With the loss, Detroit finishes their Summer League schedule at 3-1. They’ll wait to find out on Thursday if they will play in either the championship of third place game.
The Celtics were led by Kelly Olynyk and Mike Moser inside. Olynyk finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Moser had another good summer league game, scoring 12 points inside.
Phil Pressey impressed at point guard, slashing to the hoop at will. He had 14 points and three steals for Boston. Marcus Smart struggled at times to find his groove. He did finish with 14 points as well.