Larry Brown is looking for the Detroit Pistons to extend their longest winning streak of the season.
Maybe he will even stick around to see it happen.
Two days after missing the end of his 900th win, Brown tries to lead the Pistons to their sixth straight victory as they face the Boston Celtics.
Brown was mistakenly ejected in the third quarter of Detroit’s 99-93 victory over Golden State on Saturday night. He was given a technical foul, and official Pat Fraher, believing it was his second technical, had the coach escorted from the court.
After a referees’ discussion, it was announced Brown could come back, but he inexplicably did not return. Brown left the arena while the game was still in progress, and assistant Mike Woodson coached the final 15 minutes.
“That will go down as one of the top 10 bizarre plays in the NBA,” Pistons center Ben Wallace said.
Even the Pistons players were unsure what was happening, and why Brown did not come back to the game.
“That was weird,” Chauncey Billups said. “They told us he was coming back, but we never saw him again.”
Despite that strange incident, Brown became the seventh coach in league history with 900 wins. The Pistons also set an NBA single-season record by holding their 34th straight opponent under 100 points.
“We don’t really think much about that record,” Woodson said. “We just try to play tough defense, and this comes from that. We know that if we can keep this up, we’ll win a lot of ball games.”
Boston has reached the 100-point plateau only once in its last nine games, and is coming off a poor offensive performance in Saturday’s 86-77 win at Chicago.
The Celtics had just nine points in the second quarter—their lowest scoring quarter of the season—and shot only 37 percent from the field. They had to overcome a 44-31 halftime deficit.
“We played so poorly, we were really disappointed in the first half. We had good looks and didn’t knock down shots,” said Paul Pierce, who scored 33 points. “We knew we would get back in the game in the second half if we got the same opportunities. We just stuck with it.”
The Celtics had lost two straight—both at home—before Saturday’s victory.
STANDINGS (through Jan. 3): Pistons - 2nd place (tied), 3 1/2 GB, Central Division. Celtics - 2nd place, 2 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Pistons - Billups, 18.8 ppg and 5.3 apg; Wallace, 13.2 rpg. Celtics - Pierce, 23.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 5.7 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Pistons, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 5; Pistons, 96-88. At Detroit, Billups scored 11 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and made half of the Pistons’ eight 3-pointers.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pistons - 8-8 on the road; Celtics - 8-10 at home.