May 22: Pistons 103, Celtics 97

The AP reports: Richard Hamilton bounced back from a poor series opener with 25 points, and the Pistons beat Boston 103-97 Thursday night, tying the conference finals at one game apiece and seizing the home-court advantage that has meant everything to the Celtics… Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Celtics, who lost at home for the first time since March 24 against Phoenix. No team has reached the finals without a road victory, and there’s no longer a chance for Boston to be the first… Chauncey Billups had 19 points and seven assists, and his rookie backup, Rodney Stuckey hit some clutch jumpers in the fourth quarter and added 13 points for the Pistons, who host Game 3 on Saturday… Paul Pierce scored 26 points for the Celtics, who had won 15 straight at home and gone 9-0 in the playoffs. But the only record that matters now is 0-6— their playoff road mark… Ray Allen broke out of a shooting slump with 25 points, his best performance in three months. But he was limited to 29 minutes by foul trouble, picking up his fifth foul with 3:09 left in the third quarter after his flurry had given Boston the lead. Stat Notes: Both teams took almost the same number of shots, and shot within half a percent of 49%. The Pistons were better from three-point range, and while both teams shot around 88% free throws, the Pistons got to the line a bit more. Boston grabbed more rebounds, Detroit dished a few more assists.

For the Pistons, Richard Hamilton (7-of-16) had 25 points, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Chauncey Billups (5-of-10) had 19 points and 7 assists. Antonio McDyess (7-of-12) had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Tayshaun Prince (just 5-of-15) had 14 points and 8 rebounds. Rasheed Wallace (4-of-7) had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Rodney Stuckey (5-of-8) scored 13 off the bench.

For the Celtics, Paul Pierce (9-of-16) had 26 points and 5 assists, but 4 turnovers. Ray Allen (9-of-16) had 25 points and 2 steals. Kevin Garnett (11-of-19) had 24 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks. Rajon Rondo (just 2-of-9) had 10 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. But no other Celtics had more than 4 points.

The Pistons had more of a total team effort.

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