Celts Gets Career Game From Rondo but Fall to Pistons Without KG

Stuckey, Monroe lift Pistons past Celtics 98-88

      BOSTON (AP) – Rodney Stuckey scored 25 points and Ben Gordon hit
three 3-pointers in the opening 4:09 of the fourth quarter during a
game-breaking spree that carried the Detroit Pistons to a 98-88 win
over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

      Greg Monroe had 22 points and nine rebounds, and Gordon finished
with 22 points for the Pistons, who won for the fifth time in seven

      Rajon Rondo had a season-high 35 points for Boston one game
after he recorded a triple-double. Chris Wilcox, starting in place
of the injured Kevin Garnett, had 17 points and nine rebounds.

      Celtics forward Paul Pierce scored just 10 points on 3-for-11
shooting, and Ray Allen was held to eight free throws until getting
the final basket in the closing seconds to finish with 10 points.
      Garnett was a late scratch with a hip flexor.

      The Pistons led by one entering the final quarter and scored 14
of the first 18 points, pulling to an 87-76 lead on Gordon's 3 from
the left corner with 7:51 to play. He also hit a 3 from the top of
the key during the spree.

      Boston had cut it to 93-86 when Rondo was credited with a basket
on a goaltending call, but Gordon nailed a 3 with 1 minute left to
seal it.

      During the game-breaking run, the Pistons held Rondo scoreless.
He missed the only shot he took.

      Rondo, who had 19 points at halftime, hit six of 10 shots in the
third quarter for 12 points. He had eight of Boston's initial 10 in
the quarter.

      Things were going so well for Rondo on his outside jumpers that
he nailed a 3 in the second quarter, his first since Dec. 30. He
had missed his previous nine.

      The Celtics had pulled to a 72-67 edge on Wilcox's fallaway
jumper late in the third before the Pistons scored the final six
points to take a one-point lead into the fourth.

      Neither team held a very big lead in a first half filled mostly
with open jumpers and limited defense.

      Boston started the game quickly, scoring 10 of the initial 13
points for the biggest lead held by either team in the opening
half. But without Garnett's influence on defense, the Pistons
started getting easy shots and hit 52.6 percent (10 of 19) in the
first quarter.

      Notes: Boston coach Doc Rivers said Garnett “looked great in
the morning shootaround” about an hour before the game. … The
Celtics play the final four before the All-Star break on the road,
then open up in Cleveland. Their next home game is Feb. 29 against
Milwaukee. … Gordon was whistled for a technical midway into the
third. … Hall of Famer Bill Russell was in the stands and got a
standing ovation when he was shown on the Jumbotron. … The
Pistons host Boston on Sunday after playing at home against
Sacramento on Friday. … It was the second of three meetings
between the teams. The Celtics won the first, 96-85 at TD Garden on
Dec. 30.

      (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)