Take down is the correct descriptive phrase. Bird and Laimbeer are long gone but new players are stepping up to deliver some hard fouls and keep the energy going between these two teams.
A technical foul, two flagrant fouls and an ejection made things interesting between two teams at different points in their evolution.
Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 22 points/9 rebounds, Paul Pierce added 20 points, while Rajon Rondo dished out 12 assists to lead the Celtics past the Detroit Pistons.
Detroit was led by Allen Iverson and Rodney Stuckey with 19 points each. Antonio McDyess led both teams with 14 rebounds off the bench.
Seems like old times. Somewhat reminiscent of the old rivalry with the Pistons, defense was physical and a few bodies hit the ground hard with help from the other team. Only this time, fouls were called and flagrant fouls were issued.
In the first half, a fast breaking Glen Davis went down hard with a forearm and elbow across the face courtesy of Rip Hamilton, preventing a certain dunk. Rip was assessed a flagrant foul.
In the 4th quarter of a closely contested game, Kendrick Perkins stopped a lay-up or dunk when he threw down Jason Maxiell by the neck. Maxiell jumped up and pushed Perkins from behind. Players quickly got between them. Perkins was ejected with a flagrant two foul and Maxiell got a technical. The Celtics got energized and went on a game winning run right after that.
Maxiell was corralling offensive rebounds and had just scored 5 straight points leading up to that, bringing the Pistons back to within 3 points twice with his shots at 63-66 and 65-68.
Glen Davis came back in for Perkins and immediately made a tough lay-up around Maxiell, then got an offensive rebound from Maxiell that turned into a Eddie House three pointer on a pass from Rondo. Detroit coach Michael Curry then substituted MyDyess for Maxiell.
Kevin Garnett hit a long jumper on a pass from House making the score 78-67, the Celtics bigggest lead of the game with 3:15 left. The Pistons would get within 5 points twice more before fading and running out of time.
Garnett answers with two more shots on assists from Pierce and Rondo and makes two free throws to keep Detroit at bay the rest of the way.
After seeing the Celtics get out to another fast start of 18-8 to begin the first quarter, the Pistons fought back into the game in the second quarter, though they could never quite get the lead.
The Celtics first 10 baskets of the game were assisted. Rondo had 7 assists in the first quarter and the ball was moving well.
The Pistons came back with more energy and stronger defense in the 2nd quarter to get within 43-41 by half time.
The Celtics built the lead to as much as 8 points in the 3rd and 4th quarters, before the suspension of Kendrick renewed the Celtics to get an 11 point lead.
The Celtics shot .456% from the filed and .40% from the arc.
They outrebounded the Pistons by 44-36.
The Pistons shot only .405% and were 1 for 8 from the three point line.
Garnett added 3 assists, 2 blocks and a steal to his 22 points and 9 boards.
Paul Pierce added 5 assists, 4 rebounds and had 4 turnovers.
Rajon Rondo had 8 points and 4 reboundsto go with his 14 assists.
Kendrick Perkins contributed 9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal.
Ray Allen produced 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a blocked shot.
The Celtic bench scored only 13 points.
The Celtics needed a more competitive game and the Pistons gave them one. The Celtics need more games like this to become sharp for the post season.
Next up: Minnesota on Sunday in Boston