Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 1/2

Game 1: Sunday, January 2nd
Game 2: Friday, January 7th
Game 3: Friday, March 11th
Game 4: Saturday, March 26th

Celtics 88

(13-17, 5-12 away)

Pistons 100

(16-13, 9-5 home)

    6:00 PM ET, January 2, 2005

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 24 15 22 2788
    DET 30 23 32 15100

    Top Performers

    Boston: T. Allen 18 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast

    Detroit: R. Wallace 23 Pts, 12 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl, 2 Blk

    Detroit wins four of five

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons are starting to play the way coach Larry Brown expects.

    Six Pistons scored in double figures, led by 23 points from Rasheed Wallace, in a 100-88 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

    "That's the way we are supposed to play," said Wallace, who also had 12 rebounds. "Now we just have to repeat that performance anew."

    Brown had criticized his team for a lack of effort and an unwillingness to pass the ball, but Detroit finished with eight blocks, 12 offensive rebounds and a season-best 27 assists.

    "We did some good things tonight," Brown said. "It was a good win."

    Ben Wallace only had eight points, but contributed 11 rebounds and five blocks. His fourth block was the 1,000th with the Pistons.

    "I had no idea I was chasing 1,000 tonight or even this season," he said. "But once I get a chance to sit back and reflect, I'll probably enjoy it."

    Detroit won for the fourth time in five games, while Boston has won just one of its last five.

    "The only way to beat Detroit is to defend them, and we didn't do that," Boston coach Doc Rivers said.

    Rookie Tony Allen led Boston with a career-best 18 points. Jiri Welsch added 14 points and Paul Pierce had 13.

    The Pistons, who had been slumping from the floor in recent games, shot 50 percent in the first half to lead 53-39. Little-used Ronald Dupree had 11 points in the half, including four in a 10-0 surge to finish the second quarter.

    "That was great," teammate Chauncey Billups said. "Ron's an energy guy who plays great defense, and we needed it. He was trying to get offensive rebounds and take things away from them on their offensive end."

    Detroit used an early seven-point run in the third quarter to blow the game open. The Pistons finished with 32 points in the period, including 12 from Prince, putting them ahead 85-61 with 12 minutes left.

    "The end of the second quarter and the start of the third really hurt us," Pierce said. "The Pistons almost never score 100 points, but we let them do it. I don't know what it will take, but we've got to start playing defense as a team again."

    Boston used a 17-2 run to pull to 97-88 with 3:27 to go, but never scored again.

    "We went small and got back into the game, but that's just a gimmick," Rivers said. "You aren't going to actually win many games that way."

    Game notes

    Gary Payton was limited to 20 minutes by a sore left hamstring. He said after the game that he's not sure of his status for Monday's home game against New Orleans. ... Dupree, who only had seven points all season coming into the game, knocked a panel loose from a backboard-mounted shot clock with an alley-oop dunk late in the second quarter. The clock was fixed at halftime. ... Boston is 3-13 at Detroit since 1995-96. ... Detroit's 14-point halftime lead was their first double-digit advantage after two quarters in any home game this season. ... Terry Tyler (1,070) is the only other Piston with 1,000 blocks. ... Ben and Rasheed Wallace outrebounded the entire Boston starting lineup, 23-20.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 88 100
    FGM-FGA 34-78 (.436) 39-79 (.494)
    3PM-3PA 6-12 (.500) 5-19 (.263)
    FTM-FTA 14-18 (.778) 17-27 (.630)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-39 12-44
    Assists 16 27
    Turnovers 15 14
    Steals 8 7
    Blocks 2 8
    Fast Break Points 12 22
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (1/0) 16 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 3 24

    Top Performers

    Tony Allen Allen
    Points: 18
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Rasheed Wallace Wallace
    Points: 23
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 2