Regular Season Series (Game 2 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

Pistons 110

(18-14, 9-8 away)

Celtics 104

(15-18, 10-6 home)

    7:30 PM ET, January 7, 2005

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 30 33 19 28110
    BOS 29 24 20 31104

    Top Performers

    Detroit: R. Hamilton 25 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl

    Boston: P. Pierce 22 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Hamilton scores 25, Billups adds 22 in victory

    BOSTON (AP) -- Richard Hamilton made his first shot to end a record-setting run of futility. And he made his last shot to end the Boston Celtics' chances of a comeback.

    One game after going 0-for-10 from the floor, Hamilton scored 25 points and made two baskets down the stretch on Friday night to help the Detroit Pistons beat the Boston Celtics 110-104.

    Chauncey Billups scored 22 for the defending NBA champions, who lost to Memphis 101-79 on Thursday. Hamilton missed all 10 of his field-goal attempts and went 14-for-14 from the free-throw line in that game to become the first player in NBA history to lead his team in scoring without making a single basket.

    "Last night, I didn't get a whole lot of easy looks," Hamilton said. "We had more of a rhythm tonight. We shared the ball and got easy baskets."

    Hamilton wasn't the only Piston who struggled on Thursday night. Detroit shot 31 percent from the floor while the Grizzlies forced 23 turnovers and blocked 15 shots.

    "We didn't really do anything well last night," Pistons center Ben Wallace said.

    But the problems didn't linger against the Celtics. Hamilton made his first two shots on Friday -- and missed his first free throw.

    But what he did at the end of the game was more important.

    Boston trailed just 101-98 when Ricky Davis made a layup with 1:59 to play. But Hamilton set up on the left side for a 3-pointer and swished it through with 1:38 left. After Paul Pierce lost the ball at the other end, Hamilton sank an 11-footer to give Detroit a 106-98 lead with 68 seconds to play.

    "We shot about 50 percent. That's like 90 percent for us, the way we've been shooting lately," Pistons coach Larry Brown said. "We got to the free-throw line. We got to the boards. We took a lot more shots than they did."

    Pierce scored 22 and Davis added 19 for the Celtics, who shot 59 percent from the floor compared to Detroit's 49 percent. Boston had won five consecutive home games.

    "I know they're the world champs, so I'm not getting crazy here," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "But all my life I think when you play at home, you should win. I don't care who the team is."

    Rivers bemoaned the fact that the Celtics were able to stop Detroit on the first attempts, but the Pistons kept grabbing offensive rebounds and scoring on their second chances. The Pistons outrebounded Boston 40-29; in the second half the edge was 24-15, and 10-0 on the offensive boards.

    "It's a killer when you play defense for 24 seconds and then give them the ball back and then give them a shot. It's a killer," Rivers said. "I thought, 'That has to kill your spirit at some point.' And I think it did tonight."

    Boston trailed 63-53 at the half but trimmed it to 70-69 with 4:07 left in the third quarter. But Tayshaun Prince made a layup and then fed Billups for a 3-pointer; after Pierce hit one free throw, Hamilton made a 3 on another assist by Prince to give the Pistons a 78-70 lead.

    Detroit led by as many as 12 points early in the fourth quarter but the Celtics pulled within one point, 97-96, with 3:05 left. But Rasheed Wallace sank a jumper from the left side and Al Jefferson's shot was blocked at the other end.

    Billups sank a jumper from the top of the key to make it 101-96 before Davis' basket pulled Boston back within three.

    Game notes

    The Celtics had their third home sellout of the season. ... Boston had a different high scorer in each of the three previous games. ... Rivers dropped to 186-186 in his career. ... Detroit has won five straight against Boston. ... The Pistons outrebounded Boston 40-29.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 110 104
    FGM-FGA 38-77 (.494) 39-66 (.591)
    3PM-3PA 8-13 (.615) 3-8 (.375)
    FTM-FTA 26-35 (.743) 23-30 (.767)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-40 6-29
    Assists 24 22
    Turnovers 11 17
    Steals 11 6
    Blocks 5 3
    Fast Break Points 10 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 27 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 12 5

    Top Performers

    Richard Hamilton Hamilton
    Points: 25
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 22
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1