Celtics finally notch first victory

Celtics finally notch first victory
December 31, 2011, 5:04 am
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BOSTON -- After losing the first three games of the regular season, the Boston Celtics werent reaching for the panic button.

With 63 games to go before the playoffs, the Cs knew they'd find their winning ways. They found it in game number four with a 96-85 victory over the visiting Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

This team is very tough mentally, said Jermaine ONeal, who scored a team-high 19 points. I know when you lose three in a row, people question the team and what were doing and whos doing what. But we know that this process is a process, and at the end of the day we will be better and we will be considered one of the best teams in the league. Listen, we know how to win ball games.

The Celtics improved to 1-3 on the season and 1-0 at home in their first game at TD Garden. In addition to homecourt advantage, the season debut of Paul Pierce helped fill a void on offense. Pierce scored 12 points after missing the first three games with a bruised heel.

While the Celtics acknowledge they could have played better in their first three games (losses to the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, and New Orleans Hornets), theyre looking forward to improving their play in the remained of the season.

I dont think we played particularly well in those three games, but thats what we know, said Ray Allen. We know how to play basketball and we know that weve got to pick up our play. It would be one thing if you look back and you say these guys really, really beat us. We cant say that about any team so far. We didnt play good basketball and were putting it together and we like who we have on our team and we knew we had to work harder. So thats always encouraging when you know theres more that youve got to give and when you give more, youre going to win.