BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics overcame Detroit's dominance inside by passing the ball precisely and protecting it better than they had all season.
Rajon Rondo had 18 of Boston's season-high 38 assists and the Celtics committed just seven turnovers in a 118-111 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.
"When one guy has it going as far as passing the ball, it's contagious," said Rondo, who also scored 11 points and didn't turn the ball over. "We scored a bunch of points tonight. We kept on pushing. We played free and just had fun."
Jeff Green scored 27 points, Kris Humphries had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Kelly Olynyk added 18 points off the bench for the Celtics in their second-highest scoring output of the season.
Jerryd Bayless had 15 points and Jared Sullinger 14 for the Celtics, who got at least one assist from every player that entered the game.
"I think we do have a pretty unselfish group moving the ball. We missed a couple of extra passes, but not very many," Boston coach Brad Stevens said. "It's good to see the body movement and the ball movement. I think we've been pretty active on that end of the floor."
Josh Smith had 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons and was one of three Detroit players with double-doubles. Andre Drummond had 18 points and 22 rebounds and Greg Monroe finished with 22 points and 14 boards. Will Bynum added 18 points off the bench for the Pistons, who have lost seven of eight and 10 of their last 12.
"I think that our effort level needs to be a little bit harder," Bynum said. "I think maybe we need to play with a sense of urgency. We are trying to make the playoffs."
Detroit controlled the game inside, outrebounding Boston 54-39 and outscoring the Celtics 64-44 in the paint. However, the Pistons committed 16 turnovers and could not cool off the Celtics once they started hitting shots.
Boston shot 15 for 22 in the third quarter, including eight 3-pointers, in its highest scoring game since beating Orlando 120-105 on Nov. 11.
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