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
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
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
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.
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