Rip returns to score 22 after 3-game absence

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Rasheed Wallace was looking for a
little revenge Saturday night.

Two weeks after the Boston Celtics beat his Detroit Pistons in
double overtime, Wallace had seven of his season-high 31 points in
the extra period to help Detroit end a three-game losing streak
with a 105-99 victory over the Celtics.

"We really needed this one after the game in Boston," he said.
"We couldn't let them get us twice."

Detroit guard Richard Hamilton scored 22 points in a career-high
49 minutes after missing the last three games with an ankle injury,
but coach Larry Brown missed his eighth straight game while
recuperating from hip surgery.

"I am definitely happy to have him back," Chauncey Billups
said. "I didn't even know if he was going to play or not, but he
made the right plays at the right times and made them respect

Boston has lost three straight games. The Celtics had won 11 of
their previous 12 games since getting Antoine Walker in a Feb. 24
trade with Atlanta.

"We played well tonight, we just lost the game," said Boston
coach Doc Rivers. "Give them credit -- they made the big shots down
the stretch. That's what champions do."

Boston now trails Detroit by 5 1/2 games for the Eastern
Conference's second seed.

"It's too late in the season to be losing like this," Celtics
guard Gary Payton said. "We can go from third seed to sixth or
seventh in a hurry."

Both teams had a chance to win after Walker banked in a shot
that tied the game at 88 with 17.5 seconds left in regulation.

Hamilton missed with 5 seconds left, and Boston grabbed the
rebound. The Celtics called timeout, but Walker's 25-footer bounced
off the rim at the buzzer.

Detroit scored the first four points of overtime, but Paul
Pierce kept the Celtics alive with eight points in less than two

Detroit led 98-96 with 1:05 to go, but Pierce answered with his
second 3-pointer of the extra session.

Two Wallace free throws made it 100-99 Detroit, and after Walker
missed, Wallace iced the game with a 3-pointer.

"He's unbelievable," said Pistons interim coach Gar Heard.
"When he wants to be, he can be the best player in the league."

Wallace wasn't willing to agree with his temporary coach.

"I'm not the type of person to pat myself on the back," he
said. "I was just taking what the defense gave me."

Pierce led Boston with 32, including all 11 of the Celtics'
points in overtime.

"We have to look at all the mental lapses tonight that hurt
us," he said. "Those are the things we need to clean up."

Billups' buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave the Pistons a 50-48 lead
at the half. Wallace had 17 in the half, while Pierce had 13 for

Boston, though, dominated early in the third quarter and pulled
out to a 65-58 advantage. The Pistons were obviously frustrated, as
Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace and Hamilton all picked up technicals
for arguing calls.

The Celtics held a 73-68 lead at the end of the third quarter,
but Detroit started the fourth with a 10-2 run to go ahead.

The Pistons extended their lead to five, 86-81, on Rasheed
Wallace's emphatic put-back slam with 3:22 to play, but Boston
quickly came back to tie the game on Walker's three-point play with
1:38 left.<
Game notes
As a result of Friday's bomb threats, the Celtics team bus
and equipment bags were inspected by a bomb-sniffing dog when the
team arrived at the Palace. ... Payton, who played despite a stiff
back, is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday. ... Brown met with the
team about two hours before the game then left the building. ...
Ben Wallace had a Virginia Union jersey hanging in the Pistons
locker room after his alma mater won the Division II championship
with a 63-58 victory over Bryant on Saturday. ... Pierce holds the
Celtics team record with a 13-point overtime period.


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