Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 1/28

Game 1: Tuesday, January 28th
Celtics83Final
Pistons86
Game 2: Friday, January 31st
Pistons118Final
Celtics66
Game 3: Saturday, March 15th
Celtics81Final
Pistons71
Game 4: Wednesday, April 16th
Pistons92Final
Celtics99

Pistons 118

(30-15, 14-10 away)

Celtics 66

(26-20, 16-9 home)

    7:30 PM ET, January 31, 2003

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 32 29 25 32118
    BOS 20 14 17 1566

    Top Performers

    Det: R. Hamilton 29 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast

    Bos: P. Pierce 23 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Boston loses at home by 52 points

    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

    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 NBA history.

    "I chose not to be overly disturbed," Boston coach Jim O'Brien said calmly. "I am very unhappy that we did not play good basketball."

    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 2:46 remaining.

    "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 2, 1987.

    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. Bremer.

    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 quarter.

    "When the shots are falling for you, you need to enjoy that," Billups said. "I got some good looks and (Hamilton) got some good looks."

    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.

    Game notes
    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    DET
    BOS
    Points 118 66
    FGM-FGA 41-79 (.519) 23-77 (.299)
    3PM-3PA 12-32 (.375) 8-22 (.364)
    FTM-FTA 24-31 (.774) 12-19 (.632)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-49 11-40
    Assists 24 11
    Turnovers 9 14
    Steals 7 6
    Blocks 3 1
    Fast Break Points 1 1
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (1/0) 22 (6/0)

    Top Performers

    Detroit
    Boston
    Richard Hamilton Hamilton
    Points: 29
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 23
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0