BOSTON, March 11 (Ticker) -- Paul Pierce
decided enough was enough.
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Pierce scored a season-high 38 points, including nine in the
second overtime, as the Boston Celtics came away with a
hard-fought 115-113 triumph over the Detroit Pistons.
After scoring 11 points in the third quarter when the Celtics
built a 72-68 lead, Pierce committed a foul in the final minute
of regulation that allowed Richard Hamilton
to sink two free
throws and draw Detroit within 95-92.
With 15 seconds to go, Gary Payton
fouled Chauncey Billups
3-pointer, and the Pistons guard made all three from the line to
tie the game. With a chance to clinch the win, Pierce missed a
shot at the final buzzer.
In the extra period, Pierce missed 1-of-2 free throws with 7.5
seconds to go, leaving Boston with just a 104-102 edge. Moments
later, Rasheed Wallace
was left unguarded under the basket and
dunked home Tayshaun Prince
's inbounds pass to tie it.
Like Pierce in the fourth quarter, Ricky Davis
failed to hit a
buzzer-beater, pushing the contest to another overtime.
Detroit jumped out to a 111-106 lead, but after a layup by
rookie Delonte West
, Pierce scored the next seven points for the
Celtics, including a jumper with 21 seconds remaining that
snapped a 113-113 tie.
Pierce also grabbed 12 rebounds for Boston, which ended a
five-game losing streak to Detroit.
Davis scored 23 points, Mark Blount
added 17 and Payton chipped
in 12 and nine boards for the Celtics, who have won six of their
last seven games. They remained three games ahead of
Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division.
Prince scored 27 points, Hamilton added 24 and Billups 23 and
nine assists. Ben Wallace
pulled down a season high-tying 19
rebounds and Rasheed Wallace
had 18 points and 10 boards for the
Pistons, who have dropped four of five.