Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Sunday, November 9th
Celtics88Final
Pistons76
Game 2: Thursday, November 20th
Pistons80Final
Celtics98
Game 3: Friday, January 30th
Celtics86Final
Pistons78
Game 4: Sunday, March 1st
Pistons105Final
Celtics95

Celtics 86

(39-9, 16-7 away)

Pistons 78

(25-20, 13-10 home)

    Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

    7:00 PM ET, January 30, 2009

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 23 20 19 2486
    DET 16 25 15 2278

    Top Performers

    Bos: K. Garnett 22 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Det: R. Stuckey 19 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast

    Celtics' Big 3 combine for 56 in win over Pistons

    Associated Press

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Boston Celtics finally got a game.

    The result, though, was the same.

    Fast Facts

    • After a season-high four-game losing streak, the Celtics have won 10 straight and have two double-digit win streaks before Feb. 1 (also had 19-game win streak).

    • Rajon Rondo had eight points, 12 assists and two turnovers. Rondo has 35 assists and five turnovers in the last three games.

    • Boston had 25 assists on 31 made field goals.

    •  Detroit has lost nine of 13 games. The Pistons fall to 1-12 when scoring 86 points or fewer in a game this season.

    -- ESPN research

    Kevin Garnett scored 22, Paul Pierce had 20 points and Ray Allen added 14, leading Boston to an 86-78 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

    The Celtics, who have won 10 straight, took their last seven by double digits, including three victories by 20-plus points.

    Celtics coach Doc Rivers actually enjoyed watching his team play a contested game for a change.

    "It was kind of nice," Rivers said. "I thought our execution down the stretch was phenomenal, as good as we've had all year."

    Boston has its second 10-game streak this season, a feat the storied franchise hadn't pulled off since the 1985-86 season when it went on to win one of its 17 NBA titles.

    The defending champions are an NBA-best 39-9 thanks to the current run and a franchise-record 19-game winning streak early in the season.

    In between, Boston lost four straight and was 2-7.

    "We lost a sense of urgency during that stretch," Rivers said.

    Detroit's Allen Iverson scored 19 points, moving past Hall of Famer Charles Barkley and into 16th place on the NBA's career scoring list.

    Iverson said it didn't mean anything to him.

    "I want to get past Barkley with one other accomplishment and that's winning a championship," he said. "I don't care about any of that individual stuff."

    Rodney Stuckey scored 19, reserve Richard Hamilton had 14 points and Rasheed Wallace added 12 for the Pistons, who have lost three straight at home and nine of their last 13 overall.

    Detroit's top three frontcourt players -- Wallace, Antonio McDyess and Tayshaun Prince -- were a combined 7-of-31.

    "That's tough to win that way against Boston because those guys are going to get shots," Pistons coach Michael Curry said.

    Rivers said Detroit is going through a tough stretch because its still adjusting to the radical change of adding Iverson in exchange for All-Star point guard Chauncey Billups.

    "They'll be as dangerous as anybody in the playoffs," Rivers said. "That's what I know for sure."

    In a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals, tempers flared with 5:56 left in the game.

    Boston's Kendrick Perkins was ejected after being called for a flagrant foul following a video review that showed he knocked Jason Maxiell down to the court with a hard foul.

    "I didn't want to give up a layup, so I was trying to foul him hard across the arms, but he ducked his head and I got him on the neck," Perkins said. "I wasn't trying to hurt him. I don't do that"

    Maxiell responded with a shove and was called for a technical.

    After the game was stopped for free throws, Hamilton made a shot to make it 71-67. Then the Celtics scored seven straight points to seal the victory.

    The Celtics paved the way for the win by jumping out to a 12-4 lead and scoring eight of the first nine points after halftime.

    "You can't allow teams to go on runs like that," Curry said.

    The Pistons rallied in the second and fourth quarters and got within three midway through the final quarter, but Garnett's jumper capped a 10-2 run that gave the Celtics an 11-point lead.

    "We played good in spurts, but with a team that is good, experienced and won a championship that's just not good enough," Iverson said. "You have to play well the whole game."

    Game notes


    The Pistons honored Kid Rock for selling out 18 concerts, putting a banner to the rafters with his name in a tribute also earned by Neil Diamond, Bon Jovi and Alan Jackson. ... Boston was without F Brian Scalabrine (concussion) and doesn't know when he will return. ... Detroit has wins against five of the NBA's six division leaders, beating the Western Conference's top teams on the road, but are 0-3 against Boston. ... Only Phoenix's Shaquille O'Neal has more points among active players than Iverson. ... The Pistons host Cleveland on Sunday. ... Rivers said he was disappointed Allen wasn't selected as an All-Star reserve. "He's the most efficient 2-guard in the league scoring-wise," Rivers said. "The good side of it is Ray gets to golf and relax." ... Curry said he didn't plan to start Kwame Brown again. "That experiment is over," Curry said. Detroit is 9-9 with the former No. 1 pick in the starting lineup.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    BOS
    DET
    Points 86 78
    FGM-FGA 31-68 (.456) 30-74 (.405)
    3PM-3PA 4-10 (.400) 1-8 (.125)
    FTM-FTA 20-25 (.800) 17-23 (.739)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-44 11-36
    Assists 25 16
    Turnovers 16 12
    Steals 6 5
    Blocks 7 3
    Fast Break Points 5 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/1) 18 (1/1)
    Largest Lead 11 0

    Top Performers

    Boston
    Detroit
    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 22
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Rodney Stuckey Stuckey
    Points: 19
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0