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Rebound-machine Drummond leads Pistons over Celtics

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich.– The Detroit Pistons’ effort can often be questioned, but no one can dispute second-year center Andre Drummond’s desire to grab rebounds.

Drummond became the first player since the 1997-98 season to have 400 offensive rebounds when he snared seven in Detroit’s 115-111 victory over the short-handed Boston Celtics on Saturday night at The Palace.

Drummond made the game-tying tip-in during Detroit’s 8-0 run in the final 2:36. He now has 402 offensive rebounds, the most since New Jersey’s Jayson Williams grabbed 443 and Chicago’s Dennis Rodman secured 421 during the 1997-98 season.

“It’s just the will to want to get it and be hit hard,” said Drummond, who notched his fourth consecutive double-double and Eastern Conference-high 52nd this season with 19 points and 20 rebounds. “Really, that’s what it comes down to, the will to want to do it. I pride myself in getting offensive rebounds and that’s how I get my points.”

Drummond’s inside work has been the biggest bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for the Pistons (28-49), who staved off playoff elimination for one more night. They can be eliminated from postseason contention on Sunday if New York defeats Miami or Atlanta beats Indiana.

“It just shows his growth,” Pistons interim coach John Loyer said. “The guy goes and battles for you every night.”

Detroit was fighting a losing battle most of the way on Saturday but erased a 19-point, second-half deficit. Reserve guard Rodney Stuckey had 26 points, power forward Greg Monroe added 21 points and seven rebounds and point guard Brandon Jennings chipped in 20 points for the Pistons, who had lost 10 of its last 12.

Along with Stuckey, they got boosts from two other reserves during the comeback. Forward Jonas Jerebko made back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth and rookie guard Peyton Siva contributed three points, two assists and two steals during the quarter.

Guard Jerry Bayless’ 25 points led Boston (23-54), which lost its eighth straight. Forward Jeff Green scored 23 points and power forward Jared Sullinger had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who had nine players available. Rookie point guard Phil Pressey had his first double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

“Down the stretch, we really couldn’t get stops when we needed them,” Pressey said. “We gave the effort but at the end you have to get stops and that’s most important.”

Jerebko sparked a 15-4 Pistons run at the start of the fourth with his 3-pointers to put Detroit up 100-99 with 7:12 remaining.

“I missed two in a row and I was like ‘Next one is going in,'” he said. “So I just kept shooting.”

After a Bayless jumper, Pressey’s tip-in with 2:51 left put Boston up 110-107. Drummond’s putback with 1:51 remaining tied it at 111.

Stuckey’s free throws with 57.6 seconds left gave the Pistons the lead. Sullinger then missed a layup, but Stuckey misfired a 3-point try. Bayless’ subsequent 3-point attempt rimmed out and Jennings clinched Detroit’s victory with two free throws.

“I thought we let off the gas defensively a couple of times and now all of a sudden instead of a 19-point game, it’s a 13- and 12-point game,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “Your momentum is swinging as the shots get tougher and theirs get freer. We have seen that time and again in this league and those leads go quick.”

NOTES: Boston PG Rajon Rondo did not play in order to rest his surgically repaired right knee. His backcourt partner, Avery Bradley, sat out with a strained right Achilles tendon. … Pistons backup P Will Bynum (sore left foot) did not dress. … Detroit won its last five home games against the Celtics. … The Celtics used their 21st lineup this season. They only have a winning record with three of them. … The Pistons have now allowed 60 or more halftime points on 17 occasions this season. … Detroit leads the NBA in offensive rebounding (14.4 per game), but it has not translated to victories. “It probably tells you we’re not a very good perimeter shooting team,” interim head coach John Loyer said. “It shows you we’ve got to be an inside-out team.” … Boston had just four wins since Feb. 10. “It’s been a tough season, but it’s also been a tough month-and-a-half,” coach Brad Stevens said. … Both teams play next at Atlanta. The Pistons’ game there on Tuesday was a postponement from Jan. 29 because of weather conditions in Atlanta. Boston faces the Hawks on Wednesday.