Celtics 105-100: Boston plays a solid defensive fourth quarter and holds on for a significant win given their previous performance against New Jersey.
Ray Allen 18 points
Rajon Rondo 15 points, 11 assists
Nate Robinson, 14 points, 15 minutes
16.5 103-97 Celtics: The Celtics are hitting their free throws and trading hoops with the Pistons, which is OK since they have the lead. Paul Pierce has nine points in 30 minutes
1:11 95-90 Celtics: Doc Rivers put the starters back in and they are hanging on with good defense. The Celtics have scored one point in the last 2:30 but Ray Allen is at the line for two.
3:01 94-88 Celtics: Just when it appeared the C’s would pull away, Tony Allen hacks Richard Hamilton about to shoot a 3-pointer and he hits all three free throws. The Celtics are playing their best defense since the Portland game but will it be enough? Celtics ball with 7 left on the 24-second clock.
4:42 92-83 Celtics: Nate Robinson has been splendid, nailing three 3-pointers in the quarter while Rashed Wallace just gave the C’s a 9-point lead with a wide-open 3-pointer. The key has been the bench. And for those plus-minus fans, the Celtics are plus-7 when Robinson is on the court.
8:26 83-79 Celtics: Glen Davis has decided to play with passion and go to the basket in a critical stretch. He has six of Bostons 11 points in the period while Nate Robinson brought the C’s to within 77-76 with a big 3-pointer. Robinson has 8 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist in 9 minutes.
END OF THIRD QUARTER
75-72 Pistons: Detroit ends the quarter on a 19-8 run as the Celtics get outscored 23-17 in the quarter. The Celtics did not attempt a free throw in the period.
1:03 71-70 Celtics: Jonas Jerebko continues to be a thorn for Boston and the C’s are close to losing an 8-point lead. The Pistons have not committed a foul this quarter.
2:30 70-67 Celtics: Boston keeps wasting chances to pull away and the Pistons are one good run from forcing the Celtics to rally again. Boston is being ourebounded 31-23. Jonas Jerebko leads the Pistons with 12 points in 21 minutes.
4:55 66-63 Celtics: Boston ran out to a 64-56 lead with a chance to make it 10 but blew two scoring chances and the Pistons have responded with a run to get back into the game. Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo each have 11 points.
55-52, Celtics: Without Kendrick Perkins, the lineups have been sort of unusual. Rasheed Wallace starterd at center. Shelden Williams played some with the starters at one point.
The Cs are up, but they haven’t made stops consistently, and they’re putting the Pistons on the free throw line almost as much as they did New Jersey.
Rajon Rondo has a team-high 11 points, but he also has four of the Cetlics six turnovers.
Paul Pierce is 4 for 4 from the line and knocked down his only 3
After scoring five points early in the first quarter, Rasheed Wallace has been silent.
31.1 Celtics 53-52: After Rajon Rondo went on a mini-burst all by himself, getting a halfcourt steal and dunk then slicing through the defense for another quick layup, the Celtics gave up three offensive rebounds and put Jonas Jerebko on the line, where he knocked down two free throws.
Scoreboard asideThe Pistons are winning all the important battles (19 FT attempts, 23 rebounds) except turnovers (10)
2:24, 50-47 Celtics: Not a ton of stops, and the Celtics are throwing the ball around. The Pistons are shooting 11 of 18 in the second quarter. Austin Daye and Ben Gordon are killing them off the bench (combined 6 of 11 from the floor and 5 of 7 from the line).
6:14, 43-39 Celtics: Noted Celtics killer Ben Gordon just drilled a 3-pointer long 2 from the wing with 1 second on the shot clock.
7:03 40-39 Pistons: Paul Pierce just knocked down two free throws. Up to that point they had only taken nine shots from the line compared to Detroit’s 14.
8:38, 34-32 Pistons: Rasheed Wallace is at halfcourt messing with some coaches and players in the Pistons huddle. While John Kuester was presumably drawing up plays, Wallace was pointing and nodding at Rip Hamilton, distracting him at least a little.
10:24 32-29 Celtics: The Cs bench has 13 of the team’s points, Tony Allen just went hard to the rim and got a 3-point play out of it, Shelden Williams is on the boards and he stroked a J as an added bonus. Still, the Pistons have been at the line all night and the Cs can’t pull away.
END OF QUARTER: The Pistons have taken 12 FTs already. As Mark Murphy, the grizzled vet from the other paper, pointed out … too bad half of them were taken by Ben Wallace.
24.0, 25-24 Celtics: Basketball at the Palace is definitely an interactive experience. As Nate Robinson entered the game, a fan — earnest but pretty awful as a heckler — yelled at Doc Rivers, “How’s your relationship with Nate!” Doc turns around, shouts back, ‘”It’s pretty good actually!” Hysterical.As Glen Davis will tell you, it could have been worse.
2:15, 20-19 Celtics: Shelden Williams is on the floor. Playing basketball. For the Celtics. Lineup: Daniels, Ray Allen. Rondo. Davis. Williams.
2:22, 20-19 Celtics: Shelden Williams just pulled an okie-doke, taking off the warm-up and going to the scorer’s table appearing to be entering the game in the first quarter for the first time since the dawn of man. He then went back to the bench, crushing all hope.
2:57, 19-17, Celtics : Is anyone tracking how many free throws Ben Wallace has airballed this season? He’s got two tonight alone.
19-15, Celtics : Davis just scored two quick buckets, one off a Rajon Rondo feed, the other off a Rondo missed dunk.
15-15 Celtics: Glen Davis is about to enter the game along with Marquis Daniels. No worries though. The hecklers are all G-rated.
7:09: 13-12 Pistons: It’s and up-and-downgame and the Pistons are back in it, thanks to Tayshaun Prince’s shooting and Jonas Jerebko and Rodney Stuckey attacking the basket The Nets took 41 free throws Saturday. The Pistons are already 5 for 5 from the line.
9:27, 10-4 Celtics: Rasheed Wallace is in the starting lineup for Kendrick Perkins and already he’s on. Like it or not, he started the game by drilling a 3-pointer from up top. He’s got five points and an assist so far.
Celtics giving people ammunition
Doc Rivers pre-game:
When you’re not winning the way you should be winning you give people a lot of ammunition. The bottom line is that you have to play better. … This year has been more challenging no doubt about that. Just with the fact of all the things that have happened. Not having that lineup that you want on a consistent basis. That’s been more challenging. I suspected that this would be a tough group as far as, you win a title, the following year you go to the second round and two seven-game series. I’ve been around the game long enough to understand you bring back that same group you’re going to have some bumps during the season