Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 1/11

Game 1: Friday, January 11th
Game 2: Saturday, January 19th
Game 3: Friday, March 8th
Game 4: Sunday, March 24th

Pistons 92

(35-25, 15-16 away)

Celtics 117

(34-27, 18-11 home)

    7:30 PM ET, March 8, 2002

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 24 24 15 2992
    BOS 30 23 27 37117

    Top Performers

    Detroit: J. Barry 14 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Boston: P. Pierce 31 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Key run leads Celtics to fourth consecutive victory

    BOSTON -- Paul Pierce has a simple explanation for the Boston Celtics' three-game winning streak.

    "Everything's starting to come together," Pierce said. "We're starting to feel comfortable with each other and the new guys are starting to understand their role. This is what we envisioned after the trade -- a team that can score a lot of points."

    Pierce scored 31 points and Antoine Walker added 24, and both hit 3-pointers during a 16-3 run that lifted Boston to a 117-92 victory over Detroit on Friday night.

    Pierce, Walker, Walter McCarty and Rodney Rogers had 3-pointers, and Pierce and Walker also had layups during spurt that gave the Celtics a 78-60 lead in the third quarter.

    The Celtics, who lost four consecutive games before winning three straight, have won four straight at home against Detroit.

    Boston, which acquired Rogers and Tony Delk in a five-player trade with Phoenix on Feb. 20, has topped 100 points in three straight games.

    "We didn't just add two new guys, we added veterans who can really score," Celtics coach Jim O'Brien said. "If you put five guys on the floor and all of them can shoot the three, you are going to get good looks."

    The Pistons lost for just the third time in 12 games and dropped their second road contest in the last 11.

    "The effort wasn't what it had to be to even be competitive," Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "My concern is we are starting to get into a trend of giving up 50 points and better than 50 percent shooting in the first half."

    Pierce got Boston started with 6:01 remaining in the third quarter with a 3-pointer and a layup. Less than five minutes later, Rogers capped the run with a 3-pointer that put the Celtics ahead by 18.

    It was the third straight game Boston scored more than 100 points.

    Kenny Anderson and McCarty each added 15 points for the Celtics, while Rogers had 14.

    Chucky Atkins led the Pistons with 17 points, while Ben Wallace finished with 15 rebounds. Detroit's leading scorer, Jerry Stackhouse, was held to 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

    "When I caught the ball, I was basically looking at three guys," Stackhouse said. "It led to a night of frustration."

    The Celtics took their largest lead of the first half, 42-29, on Walker's layup with 7:27 left in the second quarter. Detroit went on a 15-4 run to close within two points.

    Game notes

    The Celtics are 2-0 since center Vitaly Potapenko was inserted into the starting lineup for an injured Tony Battie, who missed his third straight game with a leg injury. ... Detroit forward Brian Cardinal got his first action since being activated from the injured list on Thursday. ... Wallace has either led or tied for the team lead in rebounds in 57 of the 60 games this season. He also has double-figure rebounds 47 times. ... Rogers' family was in attendance and got a chance to meet Celtics vice chairman of the board and president Red Auerbach.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 92 117
    FGM-FGA 31-78 (.397) 45-83 (.542)
    3PM-3PA 8-19 (.421) 9-17 (.529)
    FTM-FTA 22-30 (.733) 18-24 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-37 10-42
    Assists 22 26
    Turnovers 17 11
    Steals 5 13
    Blocks 4 5
    Fast Break Points 2 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 23 (5/0)

    Top Performers

    Jon Barry Barry
    Points: 14
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 31
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3