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Pistons, Celtics look to bounce back from opening defeats

Nov 3, 2006 - 2:37 PM Detroit (0-1) at Boston (0-1) 7:30 pm EST

BOSTON (Ticker) - Repeating last season's 64-win campaign may be tougher than expected for the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons look to shake of a season-opening loss Friday when they visit the Boston Celtics, who also dropped their first game of the campaign.

After playing in four consecutive Eastern Conference finals, Detroit lost four-time Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace to the Chicago Bulls in the offseason. The Pistons felt his absence in Wednesday's 105-97 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, surrendering 70 points in the paint.

Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups scored 25 points apiece, Tayshaun Prince added 16 with 11 rebounds and Nazr Mohammed grabbed 12 boards in his Pistons debut. However, Detroit committed 22 turnovers.

Rasheed Wallace missed all three shots from the floor in 23 minutes before he was ejected in the third quarter for excessive arguing with officials.

Still grieving over the death of former coach, general manager and team president Red Auerbach, who passed away Saturday at 89, the Celtics suffered a 91-87 loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday.

Paul Pierce scored 29 points and grabbed 19 rebounds and Wally Szczerbiak added 21 for Boston, which could not overcome a 13-point halftime deficit.

The Pistons swept the three-game season series against the Celtics in 2005-06 and have taken nine of the last 10 encounters.

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