It wasn’t pretty, but the Boston Celtics found a way back into the win column Wednesday night.
Despite blowing an 11-point lead in the final four minutes of regulation, the Celtics did not complete the collapse in the overtime period. Instead, Jared Sullinger scored 10 of his 14 points in OT, and Jeff Green added a game-high 32 points, helping the Celtics pull away with a 109-102 win over the Detroit Pistons.
The victory snaps a five-game losing streak for the Celtics, who had also dropped six straight games at the TD Garden prior to the win, dating back to Nov. 7.
Marcus Smart suffered a left ankle injury in that particular contest nearly a month ago, but he made his return to the court in Wednesday’s win. The rookie guard only played a brief five-minute stint in the first half, however, during what was a very sloppy game between two of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference.
Both teams shot below 40 percent in the affair, but the Celtics had one of their best 3-point shooting nights of the season, hitting 13 of their 30 attempts from beyond the arc. That sharpshooting from deep helped the Celtics build a double-digit lead in the early stages of the fourth quarter, before the team once again fell apart in the closing minutes of regulation.
Greg Monroe (29 points) and Andre Drummond (27 points) both posted season-highs and feasted on the Celtics in the paint down the stretch, helping the Pistons close the double-digit deficit down the stretch.
In what was a nice change of pace, the Celtics did not fold in the overtime period against the lowly visitors, who have dropped 10 straight games overall. Sullinger and Green combined to score the first eight points of overtime, and despite a late scare in the period, the Celtics got a desperately needed win.
The level of opponent indicates the Celtics still have plenty of work to do to get back on track, but one positive takeaway was Kelly Olynyk’s effort. The seven-footer posted 20 points and seven rebounds off the bench, giving him a bigger scoring output Wednesday than in his last four games combined (11 points).
The Celtics will be looking to put together a winning streak for the first time in weeks when they host Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night at the Garden.