for this game

Without Iverson, Pistons outlast Celtics

Mar 1, 2009 - 10:42 PM BOSTON (Ticker) -- At this rate, the Detroit Pistons will be in no hurry to rush All-Star guard Allen Iverson back into the lineup.

Richard Hamilton paced six players in double figures with 25 points as the Pistons defeated the Boston Celtics, 105-95, on Sunday.

It was the Pistons' second win in as many games without Iverson, who stayed behind in Detroit

due to a sore back. Detroit snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 93-85 victory in Orlando on Friday.

"I wasn't surprised," Hamilton said. "I thought we were focused, shared the ball, made easy plays. I thought that was the key. We had like 22 assists and six turnovers, so I thought that was key for us tonight."

In consecutive games, the Pistons defeated two of the Eastern Conference's top teams on the road. The pair of wins allowed Detroit to complete its five-game road trip at 2-3.

"I think that we just have to build of this," Hamilton added. "I think guys play with a lot of energy, came out did everything on both ends of the floor to get a win and I thought that was great for us."

Hamilton put the finishing touches on Sunday's win, hitting a 3-pointer to give the Pistons a 103-94 lead with 43 seconds remaining.

For the second straight game, Detroit coach Michael Curry used a backcourt tandem of Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey, and it once again was an effective combination.

While Hamilton got to the line often - hitting 11 of his 12 free-throw attempts while handing out nine assists - Stuckey chipped in with 10 points.

"I thought the way we shared the basketball on the offensive end was good," Curry said. "We didn't stay on one side of the floor. The guys were moving the ball, willing to pass it, and we took care of the basketball."

Paul Pierce scored 26 points for the Celtics, who were unable to complete a four-game season sweep of the Pistons, the team they beat in last season's Eastern Conference finals en route to their 17th NBA title.

Boston was sluggish early and uncharacteristically loose on defense, allowing 35 points in the second quarter, which enabled the Pistons to build a 55-47 halftime lead.

Stephon Marbury played 12 minutes in his second game since being signed by the Celtics, but missed his only three shots and did not score. Mikki Moore was limited to two points in nine minutes in his third game with Boston.

"We're still better defensively than we played, with or without KG (injured Kevin Garnett) and the guys we were working in," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "We were just late a lot today. And you know, they set the pace the entire game."

The Celtics opened the second half with a 12-0 spurt, but Detroit ended the third period with a 14-4 run to take a 77-70 lead into the final quarter.

Boston responded again in the fourth quarter, taking an 89-86 lead on Pierce's baseline jumper. However, the Pistons wore down the Celtics in the final minutes.

"We're a team that doesn't want to make excuses," Pierce said. "It was definitely a winnable game. We had the lead in the fourth."

Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince each scored 15 points for the Pistons. Prince's 3-pointer pushed Detroit's lead to 100-92 with 1:19 remaining.

Glen Davis, again starting in place of the injured Garnett, contributed 18 points for the Celtics, including six in the early third-quarter spurt.