Bambino Grande Leads Way to W over Pistons
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - A Big Baby grew up during the Celtics' big revenge victory last night.
Rookie forward Glen Davis scored 16 fourth-quarter points by making all six of his field-goal attempts to spark the Celtics to a 92-85 victory over the Pistons at The Palace last night.
Davis finished with 20 points and four rebounds in 23 points and Paul Pierce had 19 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes.
Detroit had four players score in double digits, led by Rip Hamilton's 18 points (and eight assists).
The Celtics (29-3) have a nine-game road winning streak and avenged an 87-85 home loss to the Pistons in December. Detroit (26-8) ended its 11-game winning streak and seven-game home winning streak.
The Celtics were supposed to fly to Detroit following a 100-96 win at TD Banknorth Garden Friday night. But because of mechanical problems with their charter plane, the flight was canceled at about 11:45 p.m. The Celtics ended up departing yesterday around 10 a.m. and arriving in Detroit around noon. While Celtics guard Ray Allen said the team's overall routine was changed, he didn't see it as a major deal.
"Nothing you can do about it. It won't be why we win or lose," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before the game.
Just how big was this Celtics-Pistons showdown?
Longtime Pistons spokesman Matt Dobek said this was the hottest regular-season game in Detroit since the 1990-91 season when Michael Jordan and the Bulls came to town to play the two-time defending NBA champs. Suite tickets were going for as much as $3,500 on stubhub.com Friday, while the worst upper-deck seat was going for $110.
Before the game started, one of the NBA's most intimidating arenas was playoff loud.
The Celtics ran to a 10-3 lead after a Rajon Rondo jumper with nine minutes remaining in the first quarter. But with Boston up, 10-5, with 8:01 left in the first, Kevin Garnett (15 points) went to the bench with two fouls.
After Garnett's departure, the Celtics were colder than it was outside the arena. The Pistons went on a 17-0 run to take a 20-10 lead on a 3-pointer by Rasheed Wallace (16 points, eight rebounds).
Tony Allen's jumper ended an eight-minute scoreless streak with one minute left in the first. Detroit's Jason Maxiell completed the scoring in the first with a jumper with 44.1 seconds left that pushed the Pistons ahead, 22-12.
The Celtics' star trio of Garnett, Allen, and Pierce combined for 2 points in the quarter. Center Kendrick Perkins was the leading scorer with 8 points while his team shot 26.3 percent from the field. The Pistons shot 55.6 percent and didn't have a turnover.
Garnett returned with Boston down, 28-17, with 9:46 left in the second quarter. The Celtics used a 6-2 run to trim their deficit to 30-25. With the Pistons up, 30-25, Garnett was fouled by Maxiell while trying to dunk. Maxiell was slapped with a technical for taunting Garnett afterward. Garnett made only 1 of 3 free throws to bring Boston within 32-26.
After Garnett's shot was blocked by Maxiell, Allen followed with a 3-pointer with 5:15 left in the second to slice Boston's deficit to 32-31.
With Detroit up, 36-34, with 3:10 left before halftime, Garnett went back to the bench for the rest of the half with 3 points and two rebounds after picking up his third foul.
Allen's 3-pointer with 1:50 left in the second trimmed Boston's deficit to 39-37.
Pierce's 3-pointer tied the game at 41 with 38.8 seconds left. But Hamilton scored the last points of the half with a lay-in to push his team's lead to 43-41.
The Celtics outscored Detroit, 29-21, in the second quarter after making 9 of 21 shots and three 3-pointers.
The Pistons went up, 52-46, after a 3-point play by Chauncey Billups (17 points, six assists) with 9:21 left in the third quarter.
Allen went to the bench with his fourth foul with 8:10 left in the third. The Celtics took their first lead, 53-52, since 10-3 when Garnett nailed a 16-foot jumper with 6:08 left in the third. James Posey, Allen's replacement, went to the bench with his fourth foul with 3:53 left in the third and Boston down, 57-53.
After Perkins was called for a foul on Billups, a furious Rivers got a technical foul from referee Bennie Adams with 50.8 seconds left in the third quarter. The Pistons made three throws to go up, 64-61.
With Detroit up, 66-63, through three, Perkins was called for a technical before the fourth quarter for complaining to the referees.
Hamilton made the free throw to give the Pistons a 4-point lead.
Allen reentered with 7:57 left in the game and Boston down, 71-69. A 3-point play by Pierce tied the game at 71.
Two Garnett free throws gave Boston a 76-74 lead with 6:41 remaining. A 3-point play by Davis gave the Celtics a 79-74 lead at the 5:54 mark.
Pierce's fast-break dunk after a steal gave Boston an 81-76 lead with 4:55 left. A Hamilton 3-pointer sliced Detroit's deficit to 81-80 with 2:36 remaining. Another 3-point play by Davis with 2:18 left gave Boston an 84-80 lead.
Tony Allen made two free throws with 2:07 left to give the Celtics an 86-80 lead. A Hamilton runner brought Detroit within 86-84 with 1:25 remaining.
Davis's lay-in with 56.9 seconds left gave Boston an 88-84 lead. Billups made one of two free throws with 47.5 seconds left to slice Detroit's deficit to 88-86.
But Davis fittingly sealed the game with a lay-in with 8.5 seconds left.