AUBURN HILLS, Mich, May 8 (Ticker) -- The Boston Celtics wasted no time showing the Detroit Pistons they are more than Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker.

The Celtics used a balanced attack and a swarming defense to defeat the Pistons, 85-77, and even their Eastern Conference semifinal series at one game apiece.

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Pierce and Walker carried the Celtics to 49 wins during the regular season and past the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. In Sunday's Game One loss, they combined for just 37 points.

The All-Stars again combined for 37 points but got some help this time around. Eric Williams scored 18 points, Rodney Rogers added 13 and 10 rebounds and Kenny Anderson had 11 points, taking the offensive pressure off Boston's 1-2 punch.

Kenny Anderson has been able to penetrate on Detroit in both games this series.
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"We're tough to guard," said Williams, who made three 3-pointers. "We can put five guys out there who can shoot the three, and if they try to take that away from us, we can attack the inside. When you've got two All-Stars like Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker, you can do a lot of different things."

"We had guys step up all year long," Rogers said. "We know Antoine and Paul are our main guys, but that's why they made the trade to bring me here. I have to step it up and do the little things. We had a lot of people step up for us tonight."

The Celtics also shut down the Pistons, who scored 96 points Sunday. Boston limited Detroit to 33 percent shooting (27-of-82) and dominated the backboards, 53-35.

"The defense was the defense these guys have practiced since October 2," Celtics coach Jim O'Brien said. "We made very little adjustments. They played some better defense tonight, no doubt."

"Rodney Rogers was an important player for them tonight," Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "He had 10 rebounds and you don't think of him as a rebounder, but he's one of the reasons they outrebounded us by 18 in the game."

Pierce scored 22 points and Walker added 15 for the third-seeded Celtics, who never trailed and won on the road for the first time in the postseason since April 30, 1995 at Orlando. They had lost their first three road playoff games.

Boston did not rely on the 3-pointer as much as it has in the postseason, making 6-of-18 from the arc. Instead, it left that to Detroit, which matched its club playoff record of 12 3-pointers set Sunday. However, the Pistons hoisted 29 shots from the arc as their interior game was shut down by the Celtics.

"We took the shots that were presented to us. That's how we play the game," Pistons guard Jerry Stackhouse said. "We have a lot of confidence in our shooting, so we're going to take the shots they give us. If we had made 18 3-pointers tonight, no one would be asking us about our shot selection. We took quick threes in Game One, too, but they went in, so no one said a word."

"I dont think we necessarily fell in love with the three," Pistons forward Clifford Robinson added. "Weve got a lot of guys who have been hitting that shot all year, so if they are going down, you keep taking them. Tonight they werent falling like they did in the first game, though. Twenty-nine is quite a few, isnt it? Thats really a lot."

Boston outscored Detroit in the paint, 42-18.

"They took away our inside game and dared us to take threes, and we took the bait," Pistons forward Corliss Williamson said. "I know they packed the inside, but weve got to keep working to find a way inside. We just cant give up on it."

Stackhouse scored 25 points for the second-seeded Pistons, who lost at home for the first time in five postseason games. They have not won on the road and travel to Boston for Games Three and Four on Friday and Sunday.

The game ended with Walker, who is playing in his first postseason, jawing with Robinson, who is playing in his 13th.

"Antoine was just running his mouth like he likes to do," said Robinson. "Hes a front-runner, so he was talking tonight. Thats the kind of guy he has always been."

Walker refused to comment on the incident.

Before the game, Carlisle was presented with his NBA Coach of the Year trophy by former Pistons coach Chuck Daly, who guided the club to titles in 1989-90. It got progressively worse from there.

Boston scored the first eight points, including five from Walker. A layup by Pierce pushed the lead to 22-10 with 5:25 left in the first quarter.

The Pistons closed to 28-20 after one period but did it primarily with Stackhouse, who scored 13 points. Meanwhile, Walker had 10 points in the opening quarter and did not score again until the final period -- and Boston did not miss him.

The Celtics also did not miss Pierce, who took a seat in the second quarter with his second foul. Instead of launching 3-pointers, they attacked on offense and defense and built the lead to 50-33 on a layup by Anderson in the final minute.

"They shot the ball unbelievably well in Game One, and that level of shooting is really hard to maintain," Williams said. "We knew that we would be ready for them defensively tonight and that they wouldnt be able to do that again. If you give us two days to prepare for a game, well always be ready for someone."

The Pistons made just 11-of-41 shots in the first half, including a 30-foot runner by Damon Jones at the horn. They carried the momentum from that shot into the second half and rallied behind Robinson, who scored nine of his 13 points in the third quarter.

Robinson's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 56-54 with 4:07 remaining, but Rogers made a pair of baskets before Williams buried a 3-pointer to help give Boston a 67-59 lead entering the final period.

"I just thought they outworked us and outplayed us," Carlisle said. "We had a run in the third quarter and cut it to two or three but just couldn't sustain. Their effort was very good and ours needs to be better."

A basket by Williamson opened the fourth quarter, but Detroit got no closer as Pierce made two free throws and Walker drilled a 3-pointer.

A jumper and two free throws by Pierce made it 76-64 with 9:14 left. Williams hit a 3-pointer and Anderson sank a jumper for an 81-67 advantage with 5:05 to play, and Boston led by double digits until the final minute.

"We got great contributions from a lot of different guys," Walker said. "Eric played huge. Rodney, especially that first half, helped us build a lead. Then in the fourth quarter, we were just able to play out Paul, and just let him milk it."

Tony Battie swept 11 boards for Boston, which had six players with at least six rebounds. The Celtics shot 44 percent (33-of-75).

Jones scored 12 points and Ben Wallace had 16 rebounds for the Pistons.