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Celtics take care of business on the road

May 25, 2008|From the Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Kevin Garnett led the Boston Celtics to their first win on the road in the playoffs.

And he had plenty of help.

Garnett scored 22 points and was one of six players to make the Celtics' first six baskets, helping them build the first of many big leads en route to a 94-80 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

The NBA's top-seeded team had lost its first six road games -- tying a league record -- and was 9-0 at home until losing to Detroit in Game 2.

"We took care of business, getting our first win on the road," Garnett said.

The Pistons will host Game 4 on Monday night.

Detroit rallied to pull to within 87-78 -- its smallest deficit since midway through the second quarter -- but couldn't get closer in a game in which it trailed by as many as 24 points.

Boston's Big Three scored as much as its supporting cast.

Garnett, Ray Allen (14) and Paul Pierce (11) combined for 47 points to match the rest of the team. Kendrick Perkins, Rajon Rondo and James Posey each scored 12 for the Celtics.

Garnett went to the bench with two fouls five minutes into the game and his replacement, P.J. Brown, promptly dunked on his first possession.

Richard Hamilton scored 26 points and rookie reserve Rodney Stuckey had 17 for the Pistons.

Tayshaun Prince scored four points on two-of-11 shooting and Chauncey Billups had six points and appeared to be slowed after aggravating his right hamstring injury during Game 2.

Boston, which scored the first 11 points, led 50-32 after holding Detroit to a playoff-low in the first half and getting at least two points from each of the nine Celtics who played.

The Pistons pulled to within 13 early in the second half only to have their comeback hopes dashed by the Celtics' 12-0 run.

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