Detroit Fails to Steal Game One in Boston
This was the game Detroit was primed to steal, Game one of the Eastern Conference Finals against a tired Celtics squad that had to play 14 tough games going into Tuesday nights’ battle. Detroit was rested and ready, but it was the Celtics who came out with fire, going on an 8-0 run to start off the game. While Detroit looked flat, The Celtics didn’t skip a beat in their 88-79 victory on their home court to take the first game of the series.
It was the big two that shined for the Celtics, Kevin Garnett led all scorers with 26 points and nine boards and Sunday’s hero Paul Pierce scored 22. Boston’s bench was also solid, Kendrick Perkins pulled down 10 boards and played a great game on both ends of the floor contributing to Detroit poor shooting on the night, while Rajon Rondo added 11 and seven assists with two huge buckets late in the game to seal the victory for Boston.
Chauncey Billups, in his first game back since his hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for the last two games of the Magic series, never really got things going for Detroit. Billups had nine points and just two assists on the night. Tayshaun Prince scored 16 for the Pistons and Antonio McDyess put up a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. It was Antonio McDyess who kept the Pistons in the game when they couldn’t find their offence in the first half by knocking down jumpers with ease.
Detroit looked rusty to start the game, but quickly erased Boston’s lead making it 13-12 late in the first quarter. The game was tight, with Detroit down just one at the half, but it was Boston who came out of the locker room energized and ready to play. The usual Detroit defense just wasn’t working, while the Celtics gave the Pistons trouble all night, forcing them into 13 turnovers and a 42% shooting night.
Rip Hamilton, the Pistons leading scorer, had just three points at the half and finished with 15. Boston’s Ray Allen continued his shooting woes going 3 for 10 for 9 points, none of them jumpers.
The series resumes on Thursday in Boston, where the Celtic’s haven’t lost a game in the post season. Though Boston has home court advantage, Detroit is a very good road team and could likely be the team that upsets Boston at home.
Pistons–Celtics, the rivalry is most certainly renewed.
[top image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zenmama/]