Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Sunday, November 9th
Game 2: Thursday, November 20th
Game 3: Friday, January 30th
Game 4: Sunday, March 1st

Pistons 105

(29-29, 15-14 away)

Celtics 95

(47-14, 25-5 home)

    Coverage: ABC

    1:00 PM ET, March 1, 2009

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 20 35 22 28105
    BOS 22 25 23 2595

    Top Performers

    Det: R. Hamilton 25 Pts, 6 Reb, 9 Ast

    Bos: P. Pierce 26 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Hamilton scores 25, Prince adds 15 as Pistons stop Celtics

    Associated Press

    BOSTON -- The Detroit Pistons are back to their old mainstays and back to their old, winning ways.

    Richard Hamilton had 25 points, Tayshaun Prince scored 15 and each hit a 3-pointer in the final 80 seconds to help the Pistons beat the Celtics 105-95 on Sunday. Hamilton also had nine assists in his second straight start since Allen Iverson returned to Detroit because of a stiff back.

    Fast Facts

    • The Pistons improved to 19-15 with Richard Hamilton in the starting lineup this season.

    • Hamilton led six Pistons in double figures with 25 points -- 18 in the second half.

    • The Celtics fell to 6-2 this season without Kevin Garnett.

    • Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 26 points. Stephon Marbury had zero points in his second game with the Celtics.

    -- ESPN research

    "You can tell they're playing the system they played before Iverson got there," said Celtics forward Paul Pierce, who scored 26. "When Iverson is out there they're still trying to figure out how to use each other, how to all be successful. But that group that's out there is definitely comfortable because they've played together for years."

    Detroit had lost five straight regular season games to the Celtics -- 9-of-11 including a six-game Eastern Conference final that sent Boston on its way to a record 17th NBA title. The Pistons had lost eight in a row before snapping the skid on Friday night, when Hamilton scored 31 against Orlando.

    "We played our type of basketball," he said. "That's the thing for me with Tayshaun, Rasheed [Wallace] and [Antonio] McDyess, I always know they're going to be at all times."

    The Pistons acquired Iverson from Denver two games into the season for former point guard Chauncey Billups, who led the Pistons to the conference finals last year and won the finals MVP when they won the NBA title in 2004. But they began a freefall on Feb. 8 that didn't stop until Iverson was injured.

    Pistons coach Michael Curry said he didn't think Iverson was the problem.

    "It was nothing against the way Allen played," Curry said. "We just have to play the same way, and he has to play that way."

    Glen "Big Baby" Davis, starting in place of the injured Kevin Garnett, scored 18 and Pierce played all but 18 seconds as Boston lost to an Eastern Conference opponent at home for the first time this season.

    Detroit made a season-high 34 free throws, in 40 attempts.

    "This is the old Pistons we're playing now," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "The ball is hopping. They're playing together."

    Boston led 85-81 when Wallace hit a 3-pointer with 7:04 left to start a 13-4 run that left the Pistons ahead 94-89. They led 95-91 when Davis dived and took out Prince's feet on a breakaway, drawing a clear-path-to-the-basket foul; Prince hit one free throw, then Rodney Stuckey missed both.

    But after Pierce missed one of two free throws, Prince hit a 3-pointer from the corner to put the Pistons up eight. Hamilton added a 3 with 50 seconds left to make it 103-94 -- matching Detroit's biggest lead of the game.

    The Pistons led by eight at the half before the Celtics opened the third quarter with 12 in a row -- going 6-for-6 from the floor while Detroit went 0-for-5. Detroit led 77-68 near the end of the third when Boston went on an 17-4 run thanks partly to three 3-pointers by Eddie House.

    Game notes

    Garnett missed his fifth consecutive game with a strained right knee. Boston is 3-2 without him. ... Stephon Marbury was scoreless in three shots with four fouls over 13 minutes in his second game since signing with Boston. ... Detroit improved to .500, 29-29. ... Celtics forward Brian Scalabrine is scheduled for more tests to determine the effects of the several concussions he has had over the past month. He missed his third consecutive game. ... Wallace picked up a technical arguing about a foul call in the first quarter.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 105 95
    FGM-FGA 32-66 (.485) 35-75 (.467)
    3PM-3PA 7-14 (.500) 2-14 (.143)
    FTM-FTA 34-40 (.850) 23-28 (.821)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-31 11-35
    Assists 22 21
    Turnovers 8 12
    Steals 8 3
    Blocks 3 1
    Fast Break Points 8 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (2/0) 27 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 10 4

    Top Performers

    Richard Hamilton Hamilton
    Points: 25
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 26
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1