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>>caption: ALLEN TOOK CONTROL<<
The Celtics regained home court
advantage and moved within a win of
clinching the NBA Eastern Conference
Finals Wednesaday night.
Boston beat the Pistons 106-104
to take a 3-2 series lead.
Ray Allen, whose offense has been
erratic in the playoffs, potted his post-
season-high of 29-P to key the Boston
bounce-back from a game four loss at
Detroit trailed by 17-P before getting within a single point defecit in the
Allen sank a long shot just inside the 3-point arc with 1:01 to go after the
Pistons had closed within 1-P at 100-99. When Rodney Stuckey hit a pair of
free throws to get the Pistons back within 1-P again at 102-101 with 8-sec
remaining, Allen made two of his own foul shots with 6-sec left to clinch it for
The game was tied 23-all after the opening quarter, Boston held a 52-46
halftime edge and went up 84-71 entering the final frame before a 31-P Piston
4th-Qtr made it close at the finish.
Allen wasn't alone. Kevin Garnett had a game-high 33-P including two pile-on
charity tosses with 3-sec on the clock. Garnett's 33-P were the most he's scored
Kendrick Perkins had personal playoff career-highs of 18-P with 16-RB and
personally out-boarded Detroit 13-11 in the opening half.
Boston out-rebounded Detroit 42-25 over the entire game.
Chauncey Billups topped Detroit with 26-P and Rip Hamilton had 25-P.
Rasheed Wallace added 18-P and Stuckey 13-P.
Rajon Rondo had an all-around game for the Celtics with 7-P, 13-A, 6-RB & 4-ST.
Paul Pierce scored 13 of his 16-P in the 1st-H.
The Celtics shot just a bit better than the Pistons at 50.7% (37-of-73) to 46.3%
(31-of-67). Both teams hit better than half of their 3-balls.
PISTONS H-COACH FLIP SAUNDERS: "(Allen) got things going early, got his
confidence going. He didn't hesitate. He was letting it go...Perkins was great
on the glass...Perkins is eating us up. The games they've won, he's been huge."
PISTONS GD CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: "We're in a must-win situation. The good thing
about it is we're going home. We've been here before, and we don't like being in
this position, but we fought hard in this game and we'll be definitely ready for
CELTICS GD RAY ALLEN: "My feeling right now is no different that if I scored
10 points and we won the game. It's a great feeling. Just winning gives me the
greatest joy, regardless of what I've done."
CELTICS FWD KEVIN GARNETT: "We knew the significance of this game. You don't
win this game, you put basically yourself in a corner..Now it's up to us to go up
there (to the Palace) and try to get one (more win)."
CELTICS FWD PAUL PIERCE: "Man, it was the longest fourth quarter out of all the
games we played in. I was a little disappointed the way we played the fourth
quarter...we've got to be able to close the game out a little bit better than we did."
Hamilton strained his right elbow in the closing seconds, but X-rays were
Antonio McDyess was almost a non-factor for Detroit, scoring just 4-P and
fouling out with 5-mins to play.
The Pistons are down 3-2 in the Conference Finals for the fourth straight
year and for the sixth time in their Detroit history. They're just 1-&-4 in the
previous five sets. The lone win was over the Miami Heat in 2005.
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