Wednesday, January 20, 2010
First impressions: Pistons 92, Celtics 86
By Chris Forsberg
Instant reaction after the Detroit Pistons posted a 92-86 triumph over the Boston Celtics at The Palace of Auburn Hills:
How the game was won: Rodney Stuckey scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds to help the Pistons spoil Rasheed Wallace's return to Detroit. Charlie Villanueva came off the bench to score 19 points for the Pistons, while Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo chipped in 21 points apiece for the Celtics.
Turning point: Early in the fourth quarter, the Pistons embarked on a 13-0 run to turn a five-point deficit into an 84-76 advantage with less than four minutes to play. Nursing a one-point lead for nearly three minutes, Villanueva drilled one of two huge fourth-quarter 3-pointers to help Detroit pull away.
Stat of the game:The Pistons shot 42.4 percent (36 of 85), but outrebounded Boston, 45-35, with a whopping 13 offensive boards that helped them rally back.
Unsung hero: Jason Maxiell came off the bench to score 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting with a plus/minus of plus-10 (second only to Stuckey's game-best plus-14).
What it means: The Celtics have now lost eight of their last 12 games, including three in a row, and stumble back to Boston hoping the impending return of Kevin Garnett can snap them out of their funk (Garnett is expected back Friday vs. Portland). The Celtics continue to struggle in the third quarter of recent games and looked completely flustered when the Pistons switched to a zone defense in the second half Wednesday night.