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Celtics blow past Pistons in home debut for Iverson

Nov 10, 2008 - 3:06 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- It's been a rough first weekend for Allen Iverson and the Detroit Pistons.

The Boston Celtics spoiled Iverson's home debut with the Pistons as they raced to an easy 88-76 victory on Sunday night.

Detroit dropped a close ballgame to the New Jersey Nets on Friday for its first loss of the season. Things only got worse on Sunday, as the Pistons went ice cold from the field as they continued to get acclimated with their new point guard.

"Obviously, it's going to take time because it's a different look, a different flow," Iverson said. "I'm a totally different player than what they're used to playing with. We're just going to have to get used to each other."

The game got out of hand in the second quarter, as the Pistons went 3-of-13 from the field and turned the ball over seven times. Boston outscored Detroit, 30-10, in that period alone to take control for good.

"It was terrific. Best defense of the year by far, and it was all game," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said. "We had active hands, were physical, got up in their bodies, and it was neat to see and very nice."

After falling to the Nets, Detroit forward Tayshaun Prince admitted that there was really "no chemistry" yet within the re-tooled roster, but that it would come with a bit of practice. Through two games, it's clear they need a bit more.

The Pistons - who have become a model of efficiency and consistency over the years - looked out of sync for almost the entire night. They were even booed by their home crowd as they shot just 35 percent (26-of-75) from the floor on the night.

"Us not making shots didn't help," Iverson said. "We got a lot of good looks at the basket, we just didn't knock the shots down. I don't think offense is going to be a problem too much, that's a positive we take out of this game. We just could never get it going offensively.

"As we get our chemistry together and some time to play together, we'll start hitting shots."

Richard Hamilton was held without a field goal, going 0-of-8 from the floor for three points, while Rasheed Wallace connected on just 4-of-17 attempts.

"I thought it was great team defense tonight," Celtics guard Ray Allen said. "We were able to chase (Hamilton) and make sure he didn't get any good looks at the basket. I had a lot of guys shifting behind me so that he couldn't beat me off the dribble."

Prince led the Pistons with 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting while Iverson - who was greeted warmly by a raucous Auburn Hills crowd before the game - finished with just 10 points and four assists.

"I'm not up here to talk about how long it's going to take for everything to look smooth," Pistons coach Michael Curry said. "He did a lot of really good things out there tonight. We're going to encourage him to get even more aggressive."

The Pistons missed their first six shots of the night as both clubs got off to sluggish starts, but Iverson finally got his new team on the board with a 16-footer in transition more than three minutes into the opening quarter. The Celtics didn't get into their rhythm until their backups took over in the second, as Tony Allen scored 14 of his 23 points and Boston took an 18-point lead into the break.

"Our bench has been phenomenal," Rivers said. "The last three or four games, the bench has been the reason we've won games. The energy from our bench has been absolutely terrific."

The team's 76 points were its fewest since Game Three of its first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers last April.

Tony Allen was 11-of-16 from the floor, while Ray Allen added 17. Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins provided little scoring - combining to hit just 4-of-18 - but provided a presence down low with 22 rebounds.

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