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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Long Overdue

Sound the doomsday alarm, ring the church bell, call a friend, the Boston Celtics (the best road team in the regular season) finally won a game on the road in the playoffs. The C's are now 9-1 at home and 1-6 on the road.

The Celts took game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the Palace, 94-80. It couldn't have come at a more opportune time as the Pistons had stolen the C's home-court advantage by winning game 2 at the Garden.

All five starters and six Celtics overall scored in double figures. It took a collective team effort to finally get that gorilla off their back.

Kevin Garnett was the best player on the court with 22 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and two steals. Ray Allen had 14 points, six rebounds and six assists while Kendrick Perkins totalled 12 points and 10 boards. Rajon Rondo scored 12, Paul Pierce had 11 and James Posey added 12 points off the bench.

The Pistons were led by Richard Hamilton's 26 points. The other Detroit player who stood out was Rodney Stuckey, who scored 17 points with four assists and four steals off the bench. Rasheed Wallace was the other notable Piston as he had 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

Big runs were the staple of the first quarter as Boston opened the game on an 11-0 clip. Detroit answered with a 14-0 run but the C's closed the first frame with a 10-0 run, giving them a 25-17 lead.

The lead increased in the second quarter, so much so that Boston took a surprising 50-32 advantage into halftime.

The Celts came out slow in the second half but eventually worked the lead up to 24 points. Detroit made a frantic comeback (helped immensely by the refs that let Detroit beat up Boston with no whistles) but would only get as close as nine points.

Chauncey Billups continued his strange series with six points, four assists and three rebounds in 27 minutes. Stuckey actually played 28 minutes and was on the floor for much of the second half when Detroit tried to cut the Boston lead.

Boston shot 46.4% from the floor to Detroit's 38.4%. The C's had five three-pointers while the Pistons only managed one. The C's owned the glass (44-28), which was a pretty impressive margin on the road.

Game 4 is tomorrow night back at the Palace and if the C's can get another road win, this series is as good as over. Don't count the Pistons out however. This team has been in countless big games in the last six seasons so they'll no doubt play much better than their stinker last night.

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