KG leaves early, Celtics lose to PistonsDec 30, 2010 - 5:15 AM Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady started in place of an ill Rodney Stuckey and the Pistons took advantage of an early injury to Kevin Garnett to beat Boston, 104-92, and send the Celtics to just their second loss in their last 17 games.
Garnett departed the contest late in the first quarter with a lower right leg injury. The 13-time All-Star went up for a dunk with nearly 2 1/2 minutes left in the period, hung on the rim and landed softly but was limping afterward. He will have an MRI Thursday. The team said was a muscle injury to the outside of the leg below his knee and above the ankle.
"I don't think it's bad so I'm not that concerned. He may miss some games," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.
Paul Pierce led the way with 33 points for the Celtics, who lost for the sixth time all season (24-6).
Stuckey didn't play due to the stomach flu, and McGrady took over in a big way, hitting 7-of-11 shots for 21 points and dishing out eight assists to help the Pistons snap a two-game skid.
"It speaks volumes for him in regards to our team responding," Pistons coach John Kuester said of McGrady running the point. "The last two games going into Christmas I thought we made strides. We lost a tough game in overtime, didn't play particularly well in Charlotte but our second unit worked so hard to get us back into the game and we ended up having two great looks and tonight was a big win."
It was Boston's first game against the Pistons since a verbal war between Detroit forward Charlie Villanueva and Garnett. Following Boston's November 2 blowout win over the Pistons, Villanueva said via Twitter that Garnett called him a "cancer patient." Villanueva has a medical condition known as alopecia universalis, which results in hair loss. A day later, Garnett said he instead told Villanueva, "you are cancerous to your team and our league."
During the first half, Villanueva noticeably bumped Garnett as he went back toward the Detroit bench, but nothing came of the contact.
Villanueva finished with 14 points, four less than teammate Tayshaun Prince.
Ben Gordon had 10 of his 12 points in the opening quarter, helping Detroit to a 27-21 lead after 12 minutes. Included in that period was a 13-2 spurt, capped by a Prince layup for a 27-16 difference.
The Pistons never let go of the lead the rest of the way. Austin Daye scored all 12 of his points in the second, going 5-of-6 from the field. His three- pointer made it 43-32 with 4:20 left in the half, three minutes after the Celtics cut the margin to three. The difference was 45-37 at the half.
Villanueva stood out in the third with 11 points. He canned a three-pointer during a 10-0 run, which was finished by a Ben Wallace jam for a 63-47 cushion with 5:23 left.
Ahead 74-62 going to the fourth, the Pistons were ahead by double digits for nearly all of the final quarter.
The Celtics committed 21 turnovers, leading to 25 Detroit points...Ray Allen and Glen Davis each scored 12 for Boston...The Pistons went 10-of-15 from three-point range and ended 55.7 percent from the field.
- BOSTON: 92
Dec 29 9:59 PM
- BOSTON: 62
End of 3rd
Dec 29 9:19 PM
- BOSTON: 37
Dec 29 8:37 PM
- BOSTON: 21
End of 1st
Dec 29 8:09 PM
- BOSTON: 0
1st Quarter - 15:00
Dec 29 7:42 PM
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