Originally created 05/06/02

Pistons 96, Celtics 84



AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Detroit was undefeated during the regular season when Cliff Robinson and Jerry Stackhouse both scored 20 or more points. The duo did it for the first time in the playoffs and helped the Pistons take a 1-0 lead in their series against the Boston Celtics.

Robinson scored 30 and Stackhouse 26 as Detroit beat Boston 96-84 on Sunday to win Game 1 in the best-of-seven second-round series.

The Pistons, who were 11-0 during the season when both Robinson and Stackhouse scored at least 20, set a team playoff record with 12 3-pointers on 25 attempts.

Michael Curry scored a career playoff-high 15. He made just seven 3-pointers during the regular season, but made three against the Celtics on Sunday.

Robinson was two points shy of his best postseason performance, and Stackhouse set career playoff highs with 11 rebounds and eight assists.

Antoine Walker scored 20 and Paul Pierce had 17 as the Celtics stars shot a combined 14-of-39. Kenny Anderson scored 17.

When the Pistons made a flurry of 3-pointers in the third, they essentially put Boston away.

Detroit made five 3-pointers in the final 6:48 of third, including Curry's shot as the quarter ended, to take a 78-62 lead.

After the Pistons went ahead by 20 for the second time early in the fourth, Boston went on an 11-0 run to cut the deficit to 86-77 on Anderson's three-point play with 6:29 left.

Robinson's mid-range jumper put Detroit ahead 91-79 with 4:01 left. Rodney Rogers' 3-pointer pulled the Celtics within seven with 2:42 to go, but they could not get closer.

Both teams were in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since shortly after their glory years, when they often met in May. Detroit and Boston split four playoff series between 1985 and '89, and last met in 1991 when the Pistons beat the Celtics in the second round.

That was the last time Detroit advanced at all in the playoffs, which was the season following its consecutive NBA titles. The Celtics won a playoff series for the first time since 1992, Larry Bird's last season.

There were six lead changes, with both teams earning three-point leads, and four ties in the first quarter, which ended knotted at 22.

At 10:55 of the second after Pierce's putback, the Celtics took a 26-24 lead - and never led again.

The Pistons went on a 9-1 run to earn their first cushion of the game with a 50-41 lead late in the second quarter. They led 50-43 at halftime.

Boston pulled within five twice early in the third, but could not get closer.

The Celtics are 2-9 in their last 11 playoff games on the road.

Notes: Detroit rookie center Zeljko Rebraca will miss the series because he broke his right hand during practice Saturday. ... Detroit beat Toronto by 22 in Game 1 before winning the series in five games. ... Pistons coach Rick Carlisle played for the Celtics from 1984-87. ... About half of The Palace was empty during pregame introductions. About 1,000 tickets were not sold, and those were the only seats not being occupied by the end of the first quarter. One of the faces in the crowd was Dajuan Wagner, who made himself eligible for the NBA draft after one season at Memphis.