Paul Pierce scored 22 points on 8/15 shooting as the Celtics rallied back from a fourth quarter deficit to beat the Detroit Pistons, 86-82
Ray Allen was 0/4 from beyond the arch but made the game-winning jumper with his foot just past the three-point line with 24.5 seconds left in the game.
Marquis Daniels rolled his left ankle early in the second quarter and was escorted to the locker room. He did not return to the game, which should be concerning for Celtics fans.
Similar to this year, Daniels had a strong start to the season last year but was never the same after tearing a ligament in his left thumb. His struggles with staying healthy have haunted him throughout his career. Entering this season he had played in only 30 percent of the games he could appear in. For the Celtics last year, Marquis appeared in only 51 games -- his second lowest total in his career. Daniels has been one of the most reliable and consistent players off the bench and his health remains a concern.
The Celtics had a sloppy night, turning the ball over 18 times. However, their 14-5 advantage in offensive rebounds was a key to the game. The key-player of the game for Boston was Shaquille O'Neal, who had his third double double of the season. Shaq ended the game with 12 rebounds -- 5 of which on the offensive glass -- 12 points, three steals and two blocked shots.
Glen Davis and Kevin Garnett both netted 11 points and six rebounds.
Detroit was led by Rodney Stuckey (15 pts), Greg Monroe (13 pts, 9 rebounds) and Tayshaun Prince (13 pts). Tracy McGrady was 2/9 from the field with five points and seven assists.
In the first quarter, the Celtics were able to build a five point lead but the Pistons' Greg Monroe made sure it wouldn't get any larger. With just under four minutes to go in the first, Monroe scored on a dish from Tracy McGrady to give the Pistons their first lead of the game, 16-15. It was the first of three straight possessions Monroe would score on as Detroit traded leads with Boston, eventually ending the first tied 22 all.
|The C's won the game, but lost Marquis Daniels|
The Pistons came out of half-time by building a seven point lead, their largest of the night to that point. The Celtics had a lackadaisical approach to the game in the first half and that continued to start the second. Halfway through the third quarter the Celtics had turned the ball over four times with only one field goal. However, a Pierce three-pointer with 2:29 left cut the lead to three and gave the C's some momentum.
The Celtics opened the fourth with two straight Semih dunks to cut the Pistons' lead to one. 40 seconds later, Nate Robinson drilled a three-pointer to tie the game up, 65-65. However, the Pistons wouldn't quit -- answering the Celtics each time it seemed they were about to take back the game -- building their lead again up to eight.
And then, Shaq took over.
Boston rallied back by attacking the paint on a Rondo to Shaq alley-oop and a Pierce lay-up cut the Pistons' lead back down to two with 5:43 left in the game. 40 seconds later, Shaq tied things up by reeling in a Rondo miss, laying it in, drawing a foul and making the free throw. However, the Pistons again wouldn't give in, outscoring the C's 6-2 over the next two minutes to build their lead back up to two.
A Pierce jumper tied the game up again with just over a minute left. Pierce then hauled in a Tracy McGrady miss to give the Celtics the ball with the final minute ticking away. After Rondo hauled in a Garnett miss on that possession, the Celtics called a time-out. Then, a vintage Ray Allen -- who was quiet all night -- nailed the long jumper to give Boston the final lead of the night.
For seemingly the first time all night, Detroit failed to answer -- missing on their next three posessions as the Celtics closed out the game, 86-82.
Boston wins their fourth game in a row and snap Detroit's three game winning streak. The C's improve to 32-9 and end their home stand Friday against the Utah Jazz at 7:30pm EST. Mike Saver 1/19/2011 10:17:00 PM Tweet