Celtics’ Derrick White Admittedly Hunted Triple-Double Vs. Pistons

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Derrick White seized the picture-perfect chance to record a career milestone, which is the polar opposite of what the team-first starting Boston Celtics guard prides himself in being on a night-to-night basis.

Nevertheless, the pursuit was A.) justified and B.) fully supported by White’s teammates who wanted to witness him record his first-career triple-double.

Perhaps no better time presented itself than Monday night when the Celtics hosted a bottom-of-the-barrel Detroit Pistons team. Boston took the floor without Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday, Al Horford and Sam Hauser, which opened the door for an increase in scoring chances for those playing. Therefore, getting 37 minutes of playing time and no true threat of slipping into the loss column, White leaped at the chance of rewarding himself.

“I’m not usually one to try to chase stats or whatnot,” White told reporters, per NBC Sports Boston. “But I seen that I was one (assist) away — or actually two away — and that’s probably why I had those two turnovers there at the end but I’ve been close a lot of times so I was like I’m gonna try to get it this time. I just gotta shoutout to my teammates for it.”

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White scored 22 points on 8-of-20 shooting with 10 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and a block. In reaching that feat, White also scored his 5,000th career point with 9:52 left in the fourth quarter, according to Celtics stats.

Payton Pritchard, who pitched in with 23 points sliding into head coach Joe Mazzulla’s starting lineup, drained the 3-pointer that seized the final assist to give White his triple-double. Pritchard joked that he had owed White that assist after Oregon defeated Colorado — White’s alma mater — in the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament championship on Saturday night.

“I was aware, for sure,” Pritchard said, per NBC Sports Boston. “I think everybody was aware. I mean, it’s pretty easy to look up there and you see 22, 10 and nine. So we definitely were going to try to help him out with it.”

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Pritchard’s three provided White with a sigh of relief, leaving 6:23 left in regulation. Each of White’s three turnovers came in the fourth quarter before the 29-year-old found that final assist.

“I think it’s hard not to love him, no?” teammate Kristpas Porzingis told reporters, per CLNS Media. “This guy, just on and off the court, is a unique human and a unique player. I can go on and on and give compliments to D-White about who he is. Everybody loves him and here and it’s good always to see people like this get recognition on the floor also.”

Most importantly, the Celtics tallied yet another lopsided victory, defeating the Pistons, 119-94 to improve Boston’s NBA-best record to 54-14.

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