The Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons met for the 3rd time this season tonight, with the Celtics having already taken the first 2 of this 4-game season series.
Tonight was no different; the boys in green wasted no time getting on top against Detroit, leading by as many as 11 in the 1st quarter. Before halftime in the 2nd, the Pistons made a comeback and managed to tie it, but could never take the lead, and would see the game slip away, as Kevin Garnett carried the Celtics back on track. The Celts were able to hold on and win 86-78, outscoring the Pistons 43-37 in the 2nd half and taking their 2nd win of the season in the Palace.
“The Big Ticket” Kevin Garnett was 10-17 from the field with 22 points. KG also had 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and blocked 2 shots. Paul Pierce came big with some free throws to help the Celts win, as he was 6-8 shooting free throws. The Truth had 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. Ray Allen was not his usual self tonight, as he was 1/5 shooting 3′s, when he usually gets big points from downtown. Allen did make all 5 of his free throws, and had 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block.
Allen Iverson and Rodney Stuckey lead the Pistons with 19 points, fueling Detroit’s 2nd quarter comeback and keeping them in the game the rest of the way through. Iverson had 4 rebounds and 1 assists, while Stuckey had 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Richard Hamilton, who splits time with Iverson at SG, had 14 points, 5 assists, and 2 rebounds. C Rasheed Wallace had 12 points,6 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block. While PF Antonio McDyess only had 3 points, he was a key player for Detroit, as he lead the game in rebounds with 14.
The Celtics, having now won the season series with Detroit, improve to 39-9 and have won 10 straight games. It is the 1st time in franchise history that the Celtics have had multiple double-digit winning streaks in a year, as they also had a 19-game winning streak earlier this season. The Celtics are on top of the NBA, while the Pistons have struggled since falling to the Celtics in last years Conference Finals. The Pistons are 25-20, a mere 5 games over .500 compared to Boston’s 30 games over .500. Last years #2 seed in he playoffs, the Pistons would be the #6 seed if the season ended today. Detroit now sits 12 1/2 games back in the Conference to the Celts, while they are 11 back of Cleveland in their division. The Celtics and Pistons will meet 1 final time in the regular season in the Garden in Boston on March 1st.