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The Celtics won the tip and then…boom! It was 12-0 Detroit, and the lead would never change hands again. The Pistons handled the Celtics very well, beating them 94-75 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Even though the Pistons won by 19, the Celtics were close at some points of the game. They managed to keep fighting back and would come as close as being within three points of Detroit. However, the Celtics continually turned the ball over, missed easy shots, and played sloppy defense to hand the victory over to the Pistons. The final score is a bit deceiving since the Celtics basically threw in the towel after a Chauncey Billups 3-pointer late in the fourth.
Nobody was really the star of the Celtics tonight, which may have been part of their problem. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett played pretty well, however, leading the way with 16 points each. KG’s effort including 10 rebounds for yet another double-double. Kendrick Perkins had 10, Ray Allen, whose shooting slump seems to have returned again finished with 11, and James Posey came off the bench with 11 points as well. The Celtics beat the Pistons on the boards by grabbing 38-34 rebounds, but the turnovers would make up the difference.
Boston turned the ball over 14 times tonight while only forcing seven Detroit turnovers. The Celtics also only managed to shoot 31% from the field. One who did not see the game may wonder how the Celtics were even able to score as much as they did. Detroit gave up way too many free passes to the Celtics and paid for it. Boston stayed in the game by shooting 81% from the free throw line with 39 attempts. Lets hope the Celtics can find their shot back in Boston for Game 5 and draw as many fouls as they were able to.
Detroit had a few stars in Game 4. Antonio Mcdyess was the biggest of them all by scoring 21 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. He seemed unstoppable as most of his points were field goals that just never seemed to miss. Richard Hamiliton also added 20 points, Rasheed Wallace had 14 points, Jason Maxiell had 14 points, and the injured Chauncey Billups only added 10. Three of Billups’s points came from one shot that basically ended the game for the Celtics though.
Detroit also played great defense that could be highlighted from a blocked Kevin Garnett dunk early in the game by Jason Maxiell. This was going to be a huge dunk but Maxiell was able to come up behind Garnett and hit the ball just as he was about to slam it down.
The Celtics need to hope that their home success continues on Wednesday night, otherwise this Pistons team is going to be tough to come back from. The Celtics were able to grab one road win in these past two games which is good because it gives them less pressure to win on the road in Game 6, unless of course they are down 3-1 after a Game 5 loss.
Like I said earlier, let’s hope that the Celtics can find their shot early in Game 5 and draw the fouls again like they did tonight. If Boston had been able to hit some of those jumpers they missed to start the game as well as ones later on, the Celtics probably have a 3-1 series lead now. The bad start, missed opportunities, and mediocre defense cost Boston a big win tonight.