Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 10/13

Game 1: Wednesday, October 13th
Game 2: Wednesday, October 27th

Pistons 84

(3-4, 0-2 away)

Celtics 96

(2-6, 2-2 home)

    6:00 PM ET, October 27, 2004

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 28 16 24 1684
    BOS 25 25 25 2196

    Boston snaps 6-game slide

    BOSTON (AP) -- Jiri Welsch started at point guard in place of injured Gary Payton and scored 16 points to lead Boston over the Detroit Pistons 96-84 Wednesday night in the Celtics' final preseason game.

    Tom Gugliotta added 12 points for the Celtics, 2-6 after snapping a six-game preseason losing streak.

    Ben Wallace and Tayshaun Prince had 15 points apiece for NBA champion Detroit (3-4).

    With the game tied at 68, the Celtics scored the final seven points of the third quarter on free throws to take the lead for good. Rookie Tony Allen started the run with two free throws with 29 seconds left in the period.

    The Celtics opened the fourth quarter with a 12-4 run to put the game out of reach. Rookie Delonte West hit a 3-pointer with 6:46 remaining to give Boston an 87-72 lead.

    Ricky Davis added 12 points and Paul Pierce 11 for Boston.

    Payton, who broke his right thumb in Boston's 95-88 loss to Cleveland on Monday, is day-to-day but is expected to play when the Celtics open the regular season against Philadelphia on Nov. 3.

    Boston's projected starting lineup of Pierce, Davis, Raef LaFrentz, Payton and Mark Blount started only two preseason games together.

    Detroit outscored Boston 28-25 in the first quarter and extended the lead to 30-25 when Lindsey Hunter hit a layup on the first possession of the second period. But the Celtics outscored the Pistons 25-16 in the quarter to take a 50-44 halftime lead.

    Detroit closes out its preseason Friday at Minnesota. The Pistons open their title defense at home against Houston on Tuesday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press