Detroit was outscored 18-2 to end Thursday’s 89-78 loss to red-hot Miami. The Pistons missed 13 straight shots during a 6:56 stretch as the Heat won their 13th straight game.
The Pistons, who had won three straight and five of seven, will now try to bounce back at home, where they have won 12 of their last 15 meetings with the Celtics.
A win Sunday will give Detroit the same record as it had through 29 games last season. The Pistons went on to win their next 13 games and eventually the NBA championship.
“I’d like to see us play with the passion we did last year,” Detroit coach Larry Brown said. “We haven’t done that. We took pride in what we did last year. If a guy scored 60 we’d come into the locker room upset. I haven’t seen that this year.”
“There’s a reason we are 15-13,” Brown said. “We don’t share the ball and we don’t do the little things that we did last year and that is why we are where we are.”
Detroit shot 39 percent against Miami after averaging 101.6 points in its previous three games.
The Celtics ended a three-game losing streak and won for just the second time in six games with Friday’s 108-103 victory over Washington.
Paul Pierce scored seven of his 26 points in the final six minutes, including the go-ahead free throw with 34 seconds left, as the Celtics stole the game with a 21-11 fourth-quarter run. Boston shot 82 percent (28-for-34) at the free-throw line.
Gary Payton added 18 points, including four during the pivotal spurt in the fourth. Payton had averaged 6.6 points in his previous three games.
Ricky Davis, who scored 15 points off the bench, made two free throws with 3.3 seconds left to seal the victory. He’s second on the team with 14.3 points and 1.2 steals per game.
Boston is ranked among the league’s leaders with 101.2 points per game.