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Celtics Win, Return to NBA Finals
Ben Couch's Celtics-Pistons Series Blog

With a spectacular fourth quarter, the Boston Celtics moved forth into the NBA Finals for the first time in 21 years.

Led by Paul Pierce, the Celtics rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final period for an 89-81 victory over the Detroit Pistons, closing out the Eastern Conference Finals in six games.

The Celtics are in The Finals for the first time since 1987, when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. Looking for their 17th title, they again will face the Lakers, who are in search of their 15th championship.

Boston opened the final period by making eight of its first nine shots, turning a 70-60 deficit into an 83-76 advantage. Leading the way was Pierce, the face of the Celtics for a decade who had a three-point play, a jumper and two free throws in a 74-second span, giving the Celtics the lead for good.

Pierce scored 27 points, Ray Allen added 17 and Kevin Garnett 16 for the Celtics, avoided a Game 7 for the first time in this postseason. Pierce, Allen and Garnett all are going to The Finals for the first time in their careers.

Chauncey Billups scored 29 points and Richard Hamilton added 21 - both while nursing injuries - for the Pistons, who were 6-of-18 with six turnovers in the telling fourth quarter.

Detroit has lost in Game 6 of the East Finals each of the last three seasons.

The NBA Finals open Thursday in Boston at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

December 19, 2007
Pistons 87, Celtics 85 | Box | Video
Chauncey Billups hit two free throws with a tenth of a second left to handed the Celtics their first home loss of the season.
March 05, 2008
Celtics 90, Pistons 78 | Box | Video
Kevin Garnett scored a season-high 31 to lead Boston to a bruising win over Detroit.
January 5, 2008
Celtics 92, Pistons 85 | Box | Video
Glen Davis scored a career-high 20 points, giving Boston a huge lift in a 92-85 win.

Oct. 26
Rosters set for opening day

Oct. 27
Start of 2009-10 regular season

April 18
2009 NBA Playoffs begin

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