BOSTON (AP) -- Paul Pierce tossed a black shirt on the court in
disgust when he was ejected late in the third quarter. It should
have been a white flag.
Richard Hamilton and the Pistons had their way with the Celtics.
The Boston Celtics absorbed the most lopsided loss in their
history while the Detroit Pistons enjoyed their widest margin ever,
winning 118-66 Friday night in the second-biggest road victory in
"I chose not to be overly disturbed," Boston coach Jim O'Brien
said calmly. "I am very unhappy that we did not play good
Actually, it was horrible basketball.
The Pistons led by 60 before Boston scored the last eight
points. They had 67 points, one more than Boston finished with,
less than five minutes into the third quarter. They also had 24
assists compared to 23 Boston baskets.
Detroit scored the last five points of the first quarter, the
last 11 of the second and the last 15 of the third before an
incredible 47-7 surge gave them their biggest lead, 118-58 with
"Whether you win by 2 or 52 you just love a win," Detroit's
Ben Wallace said. "That's not something you expect to do, but it
happens. Sometimes you catch a team down and I think we forced them
to get down a bit mentally."
The previous worst loss in Celtics history came in the second
game this season, a 45-point margin in a 114-69 loss to Washington.
The Pistons' previous biggest win was 119-73 over Indiana on April
The only bigger road win was Seattle's 136-80 rout of Houston on
Dec. 6, 1986.
"I've been on the other side of these things and I know how it
feels and it's no fun," Detroit coach Rick Carlisle said. "So we
don't revel in it."
The Celtics made 23 of 79 shots, 29.9 percent, while the Pistons
sank 41 of 79 for 51.9 percent. Boston just missed scoring its
fewest points since the 24-second clock was adopted. The record is
62 on Feb 27, 1955 against Milwaukee.
The crowd turned on the Celtics and cheered nearly every Pistons
basket for most of the final period. Their biggest lead came on a
3-pointer by Tayshaun Prince with 2:44 left.
Detroit was led by Richard Hamilton with 29 points and Chauncey
Billups with 24. The Celtics got 23 from Pierce and 10 from J.R.
Any chance for a Celtics comeback ended when Pierce was ejected
with 1:33 left in the third quarter for picking up two technical
fouls for yelling at referee Gary Benson from the bench.
Pierce was not available after the game, but Antoine Walker
understood his teammate's frustration.
"It's tough," he said. "If the game had been a little closer,
he might have kept quiet."
The score was 78-51 when Pierce left, and Detroit scored the
last eight points of the quarter on two free throws each by
Hamilton and Corliss Williamson and a layup by each of them.
Detroit, which has allowed the fewest points in the NBA, gave up
only 15 in the fourth quarter.
Walker sat out the entire fourth quarter after scoring six
points and missing 14 of 15 shots after missing four games with a
sprained right knee. He said that felt OK after the game.
"It's a tough night," Walker said. "We'll deal with Detroit
accordingly when we see them again."
The Celtics didn't complain about the Pistons taking 11 shots
from 3-point range after leading 86-51 going into the fourth
"When the shots are falling for you, you need to enjoy that,"
Billups said. "I got some good looks and (Hamilton) got some good
The Pistons led 71-51 with 4:05 left in the third quarter before
going on a 35-2 run that gave them twice as many points as Boston --
106-53 midway through the fourth quarter.
Detroit's first double-figure lead came with just 5:59 gone in
the game on a 3-pointer by Billups that made it 17-6. Boston closed
to 19-16, but the Pistons led 32-20 after one quarter.
Detroit led by at least 10 points throughout the second quarter
and opened a 61-34 halftime lead.
Boston G Tony Delk returned after missing two games with a
sprained left ankle. ... Three days earlier, the Pistons edged the
Celtics 86-83 in Detroit. ... The Pistons are 11-1 when holding
opponents to less than 40 percent shooting. ... The Pistons have
held 14 opponents under 80 points.