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Also read: Celtics Four-Point Play
The Celtics used their clutch play to pick up a playoff-clinching win in a 90-78 final over the Pistons. They also took one huge leap toward the top seed in the Eastern Conference, by taking a 2-1 season series edge over the Pistons.
Boston held a double-digit lead for much of the game but saw it evaporate in the second half. The Pistons stormed back but the Celtics held off their onslaught led by a Celtics-career-high 31 points for Kevin Garnett. In one of their biggest regular season games in years, the Celtics stood tallest, finishing the game on an amazing 12-1 run.
It should be noted that Kendrick Perkins has been amazing since the P.J. Brown signing, as if to say ‘This is my spot and I’m not giving it up!’ Perk, that wasn’t even in the plan anyway, but you’ve further showed that you deserve to be the starting center. Against Detroit, Perk had 10 points, a career-high 20 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 33 minutes.
It was a playoff atmosphere at the TD BankNorth Garden, with all players on both starting squads pouring in at least 31 minutes. So we all saw the Pistons’ best vs. the Celtics’ best. When it comes to the playoffs, the Pistons as a team have much more experience playing together in pressure situations. For now, the C’s are the better team.
As far as the team stats go, the Celtics outrebounded the Pistons 50-38 (thanks to Perk) and outshot them 46.1% – 36.4%. One key stat to note is that unless your name was Chauncey Billups, you didn’t get to the FT line that much. Besides Billups, no one got to the line more than 6 times. The former Celtic (grr) went 14-15!!! from the line. I’m not shocked at the effeciency; I’m shocked at the attempts. How does that happen? He sure knows how to get fouled…
After losing three games in a row for the first time all season, the Green have now won six straight to improve to an NBA-best 47-12. It’s just like the Celtics to bounce back from small losing streaks and bust them by going on longer winning streaks. That shows a lot of focus and experience. When you add experienced players like P.J. Brown and Sam Cassell, that only furthers what you’re trying to accomplish.
Next up is a much easier opponent in the Chicago Bulls at home. Keep in mind, the last time the Celtics beat the Pistons in Detroit in that emotional game in Detroit, they came home and were embarassed by the Bobcats a few days later.