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Celtics Finally Win on Road, Dominate Pistons

Kevin Garnett put the Celtics up by eight points midway through the second quarter with an emphatic dunk following a P.J. Brown block on the defensive end. It may not have represented a turning point in the game, but it certainly represented an exclamation point for the series: the Celtics are not dead and will not go down without a fight.

The Celtics zoomed ahead from a close game in the first quarter to a double-digit lead in the second quarter on sharp shooting and strong defense. They opened up a 24-point lead in the third before holding off a late Pistons rally in a 94-80 win.

KG led the way for the C’s with 22 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists. He played with tremendous confidence, going strong to the hoop on numerous occasions. At times during the Cavs-Celtics series, Garnett would settle for mid-range jumpers instead of going strong. He has adjusted and the Celtics are benefitting.

Kendrick Perkins was huge for the Celtics, shooting 6-7 from the field for 12 points and 10 rebounds. Perk also looked extremely confident playing against Antonio McDyess and Rasheed Wallace. He went up strong for his rebounds, and even earned recognition from the ABC national announcers. They gave him a lot of praise for his surprising effort, mostly because he was basically invisible in Game 1 and 2.

After a back-and-forth first quarter that saw both teams with 10-point runs or higher, it was all-Celtics thanks in part to terrific play from the bench, who scored 32 points in the first half.

The Celtics bench picked up the slack while Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were on the bench in foul trouble in the first quarter. P.J. Brown (4 PTS, 4 REB, 1 BLK) and James Posey (12 PTS, 4 REB, 1 STL) were solid on both sides of the floor. When Doc Rivers made substitutions, the transition to a new lineup appeared seemless.

On the other end, the Pistons bench was also good. Jason Maxiell gave the Pistons some great defense in the first half. He first completely blocked a P.J. Brown attempt in the first quarter, and rejected a much-taller Kevin Garnett in the second. Guard Rodney Stuckey also played well and gave Sam Cassell a bit of trouble due to his speed. If both players continues to play so well on both ends, the Celtics could be in trouble…but it appears for now the C’s are in good shape.

The Celts now have regained home court advantage in the series and are back in the driver’s seat. They proved a lot going into Detroit and quieting the crowd early before the Pistons could mount an impressive lead. Can the Celtics finish this series in less than seven games? Or…will the Pistons take back control of the series in win a Game 7 in Boston?

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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3 comments for “Celtics Finally Win on Road, Dominate Pistons”

  1. This was a great game for the Celtics and I guess I was right about them being due for a road win. Hopefully this momentum carries over to game 4 and the Celts take that. Who knows…maybe they can get out of this in 5? (I knocked on wood after typing that)

    Posted by Geoff | May 25, 2008, 12:30 am
  2. Finally, a road win!! Congrats to the Celts, especially that great defensive effort, and to the bench players who really were the stars of the game (besides Garnett, who played brilliantly).

    So here’s my plan: Assuming Ray Allen is still on the team next year, wait until he has two good games in a row (if that’s actually possible) and trade him immediately to anyone dumb enough to think he’s still the old Ray Allen. Don’t be too picky – just get someone at least 6’3” who can hit at least 35% from the three point line and can dribble well enough not to hit his feet with the ball while he’s moving outside the circle, and is also capable of guarding Wally Sczcerbiac. Got to be an improvement. Whadda ya think?

    Posted by Ken | May 25, 2008, 9:40 am
  3. The thing about Ray Allen is that he’s the third option for the first time in his career. He’s used to driving to the hoop and handling the scoring load.

    He’s just slumping now…a lot of times when shooters can’t find their shot, they drive the lane. He’s not supposed to do that because it’s not his job. He’s supposed to be lethal from three-point land. Ray started to drive more in Game 3, which will help him eventually.

    Posted by KC | May 25, 2008, 12:39 pm

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