Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 11/4

Game 1: Friday, November 4th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 15th
Game 3: Monday, January 16th

Pistons 82

(2-0, 1-0 away)

Celtics 81

(1-1, 1-1 home)

7:30 PM ET, November 4, 2005

TD Garden, Boston, MA

1 2 3 4 T
DET 22 16 23 2182
BOS 18 25 17 2181

Top Performers

Det: R. Hamilton 26 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

Bos: P. Pierce 28 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

Pistons sink Celtics on Hamilton's buzzer-beater

BOSTON (AP) -- Richard Hamilton's previous buzzer-beater was in 1998, one of the more famous shots in NCAA tournament history that gave Connecticut a win over Washington and a berth in round of eight.

He made another one on Friday night, a 20-foot jumper as time expired that gave the Detroit Pistons an 82-81 victory over the Boston Celtics.

"The guys did an excellent job," Hamilton said. "Tay (Tayshaun Prince) made a great pass and Ben (Wallace) and Ray (Rasheed Wallace) set great screens."

Prince, who the Celtics elected not to guard on the inbounds pass, found Hamilton just inside the 3-point arc and he got the shot off as time expired.

"We had a few options. With 0.8 seconds (remaining), you've got to get something really quick," said Pistons guard Chauncey Billups, who had 16 points and eight assists. "There's no better guy in the league to get that shot than Rip Hamilton. That's his bread and butter."

Hamilton led the Pistons with 26 points, while Rasheed Wallace added 15. Ben Wallace had 15 rebounds.

"(We) just wanted to play everyone tight," Celtics forward Paul Pierce, who led all scorers with 28 points, said of the final play. "That's what prime-time players do in this league. Obviously, Rip is a prime-time player."

The Celtics (1-1), who have lost seven of their last eight against the Pistons, dating to the start of the 2003-04 season, looked like winners after Mark Blount hit a jumper from the free throw line with 0.8 seconds remaining to put the Celtics up 81-80.

"He made a big shot," Hamilton said. "They thought they won, but you can't celebrate until the final horn goes off."

After the Pistons (2-0) took an 80-79 lead on Rasheed Wallace's putback with 16 seconds remaining, the Celtics pushed the ball up the floor and got it to Blount. He missed a shot in the paint but tipped the ball out to Delonte West, who got it back to Blount for the lead.

"I told them we played with them and that's great," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "But at the end of the day, we didn't win the game. And I told them the moral victory stuff, that's for teams who think they are losers."

Blount had 16 points and nine rebounds, while Raef LaFrentz, Ricky Davis and West each added 10 points for the Celtics.

The Pistons opened the third quarter with a 13-5 run and took a 51-48 lead on a dunk by Hamilton. LaFrentz answered with consecutive 3-pointers, one as the shot clock expired, to give the Celtics a 54-51 lead.

With Boston trailing 69-68 in the fourth, Pierce scored six straight points for a 74-69 lead.

The Celtics used a 27-18 run in the second quarter to take a 43-38 halftime lead.

Game notes

After nearly doubling their opponents in blocked shots in the preseason, the Pistons blocked one shot in the first half -- one less than West, the Celtics' point guard. ... The fourth-best rebounding team in the NBA last season, the Pistons were beaten 28-22 on the boards in the first half. ... Pierce and Davis combined to average 51 points at home last season against the Pistons. ... The Celtics play 11 of their first 15 games at home.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 82 81
FGM-FGA 30-76 (.395) 30-76 (.395)
3PM-3PA 5-12 (.417) 2-9 (.222)
FTM-FTA 17-21 (.810) 19-26 (.731)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-42 15-44
Assists 17 20
Turnovers 18 17
Steals 9 8
Blocks 3 7
Fast Break Points 10 6
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (1/0) 20 (0/0)
Largest Lead 6 7

Top Performers

Richard Hamilton Hamilton
Points: 26
Reb: 4
Ast: 1
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Paul Pierce Pierce
Points: 28
Reb: 7
Ast: 3
Stl: 2
Blk: 0