Celtics attempt to take 2-0 lead over Pistons
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics attempt to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals, as they host the Detroit Pistons tonight at TD Banknorth Garden.
In Game 1, Kevin Garnett scored 26 points and Paul Pierce netted 22 as the top-seeded Celtics beat No. 2 Detroit, 88-79, on Tuesday in front of their home crowd.
Rajon Rondo had 11 points and seven assists for Boston, while Garnett had eight of his points during a big run in the third quarter, and finished with nine rebounds while shooting 11-of-17 from the field.
Tayshaun Prince scored 16 points and Richard Hamilton netted 15 in the loss for the Pistons. Antonio McDyess registered 14 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit, while Rasheed Wallace scored 11 in defeat.
Chauncey Billups, who missed the final two games of Detroit's second-round playoff series with Orlando due to a strained right hamstring, was limited to just nine points.
Game 3 of this set is scheduled for Saturday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Pistons have won eight straight Game 2s in the playoffs. The last time Detroit lost the second game of a playoff series was on June 12, 2005 to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.
The Celtics have won two straight Game 2s in the postseason.
Boston is 9-0 at home and 0-6 on the road in this year's playoffs. The Celtics survived two big scares in the first round and semifinals. They knocked out the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks in seven games in the quarterfinals and hung on to defeat superstar LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in an even tougher seven-game set.
Allen, Garnett and Pierce are all appearing in their second conference finals. The 32-year-old Allen made it with Milwaukee in 2001, while Garnett led Minnesota to the West finals in 2004 and Pierce and the Celtics advanced to the East finals in 2002. None of the Big Three have ever won this round.
The last time the Celtics captured the Eastern Conference crown was in 1987. They ended up losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games in the NBA Finals. Boston has lost its last two trips to this round.
The Pistons have advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the sixth straight year, becoming the first team since the 1984-89 Los Angeles Lakers to reach the conference finals six years in a row.
During its run, Detroit has advanced to the NBA Finals twice and has captured one championship. The Pistons defeated the Lakers, 4-1, in the 2004 NBA Finals and lost to the San Antonio Spurs, 4-3, in the 2005 championship round.
The Pistons, who eliminated Philadelphia in round one and Orlando in the semis of this year's postseason, have made it to the Eastern Conference finals for the 11th time in franchise history. They played Boston in 1987 and 1988, Chicago in 1989, 1990 and 1991, New Jersey in 2003, Indiana in 2004, Miami in 2005 and 2006 and the Cavaliers last year. Detroit is 5-5 in this round.
Detroit is 5-1 at home and 3-3 on the road in this year's postseason.
There is a lot of playoff history between these two franchises. Boston defeated the Pistons in the 1968, 1985 and 2002 semis, and also knocked out Detroit in seven games in the 1987 East finals.
Detroit has also won its share of playoff series against the Celtics. The Pistons eliminated Boston in the 1988 East finals, round one in 1989 and the 1991 semifinals.
05/22 10:45:40 ET