Final / 2OT

Regular Season Series (Game 3 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 113

(37-23, 16-16 away)

Celtics 115

(33-29, 23-10 home)

Coverage: WDWB

7:30 PM ET, March 11, 2005

TD Garden, Boston, MA

1 2 3 4 OT 2OT T
DET 20 26 22 27 9 9113
BOS 14 32 26 23 9 11115

Top Performers

Det: T. Prince 27 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Blk

Bos: P. Pierce 38 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Pierce hits go-ahead J, blocks Prince to seal win

BOSTON (AP) -- Paul Pierce squandered a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but wasn't about to waste a second opportunity.

Pierce scored a season-high 38 points, hit the game-winning jumper with 23 seconds left and deflected Tayshaun Prince's 3-point attempt on Detroit's last possession, helping the Boston Celtics beat the Pistons 115-113 in double overtime Friday night.

The Celtics won for the sixth time in seven games since trading for Antoine Walker and maintained a three-game lead over Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division.

Boston had chances to win the game at the end of regulation and the first overtime, but Pierce missed a 15-footer as time expired in regulation, and Ricky Davis, who finished with 23 points, misfired on a turnaround jumper at the buzzer in the first overtime.

Pierce, who also had 12 rebounds, sank the winning shot over Rasheed Wallace in the second overtime and then got a piece of Prince's shot with 6 seconds left.

"This was a good win despite the circumstances," Pierce said. "We showed a lot of heart. This was a really gutsy win for us and it says a lot about the team's character."

The Celtics snapped a five-game losing skid against Detroit, winning against the Pistons for the first time since a 99-92 victory at home on April 16, 2003. The Pistons lost their fourth consecutive road game and have dropped four of five overall.

"We had control, but we missed a couple shots, they made a couple, a couple of calls didn't go our way and they got back in it," Detroit guard Chauncey Billups said. "They won it with a good shot from Paul Pierce. Tough shot."

Boston had a 95-92 lead and possession late in regulation, but Walker missed a wide-open 3-pointer with 22 seconds left and Gary Payton fouled Billups while shooting a 3-pointer with 15.8 seconds remaining. The ex-Celtic sank all three foul shots to tie the game.

Walker had his worst game since returning to Boston, missing his first nine attempts from the field and finishing 4-of-19 for nine points.

"We're tough," Walker said. "We have so many different weapons. When I was here 16 months ago, if I went 4-of-19, we wouldn't have won games like this. But we have more weapons now."

Prince led Detroit with 27 points. Richard Hamilton added 24 and Billups finished with 23. Ben Wallace tied a season-high with 19 rebounds.

"We had a chance to put the game away and we didn't," Pistons assistant Gar Heard said. "They got a couple of offensive rebounds, a couple of our guys fouled out and we just didn't protect the ball down the stretch when we had a chance to put the game away."

Game notes

Celtics coach Doc Rivers and Detroit coach Larry Brown had a 15-minute conversation in the Pistons team bus prior to the game after the building was evacuated due to a smoke condition in one of the freight elevators. ... Gary Payton's son, Gary II, was on the Celtics bench for the first six minutes of the game. ... Ben Wallace had 14 rebounds in the first half. ... Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was seated courtside. ... Boston committed just one turnover in the first half.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 113 115
FGM-FGA 38-90 (.422) 43-100 (.430)
3PM-3PA 6-17 (.353) 2-14 (.143)
FTM-FTA 31-45 (.689) 27-36 (.750)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-52 16-54
Assists 27 25
Turnovers 12 9
Steals 6 6
Blocks 6 5
Fast Break Points 16 15
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (2/0) 30 (1/0)
Largest Lead 6 7

Top Performers

Tayshaun Prince Prince
Points: 27
Reb: 7
Ast: 4
Stl: 0
Blk: 2
Paul Pierce Pierce
Points: 38
Reb: 12
Ast: 3
Stl: 2
Blk: 1