Pistons cruise by Celtics, 98-88

Pistons cruise by Celtics, 98-88
February 16, 2012, 3:31 am
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BOSTON Kevin Garnett or no Kevin Garnett, losing at home to the Detroit Pistons -- the '12 Pistons, not the '04 or '05 title-contending Pistons -- should not have happened.

Now, as the Boston Celtics gear up for a tough road trip -- easily their toughest stretch of games this year -- they do so on a sour note following a 98-88 home loss to the Detroit Pistons.

In a relatively close game for three quarters, with neither team leading by more than seven points, the Pistons (9-22) began to open the game up in the fourth quarter behind the long range shooting of former UConn star Ben Gordon.

Although it was Rodney Stuckey who carried Detroit with a team-high 25 points, it was Gordon's clutch shooting in the fourth that positioned the Pistons for the upset.

He finished with 22 points, 12 of which came in the fourth.

It came on a night when Rajon Rondo was on another level -- a level no one donning a white and green jersey could reach.

Rondo finished with a career-high 35 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Garnett wasn't the only member of the Big Three missing, although his absence was due to a hip flexor injury that makes his status questionable for Thursday's game at Chicago.

Paul Pierce had no such excuse for his 10-point performance on 3-for-11 shooting from the field. Ray Allen wasn't much better, as he finished with 10 points, which included him missing four of his five field goal attempts.

With the loss, the Celtics don't have any time to dwell on yet another disappointing performance, not with their road trip kicking off Thursday night against the best team in the East, the Chicago Bulls.