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After 3 Close Losses, Pistons Hope To Pick Up First Win Tonight Against Celtics

Sports Network | November 2, 2010

(Sports Network) - The Detroit Pistons haven't started a season 0-4 since the 1999-00 campaign and are on the verge of matching that mark tonight with the Boston Celtics in town.

The Pistons lost by three points at New Jersey to kick off the season and dropped a one-point decision to Oklahoma City. They are coming off Saturday's 101-91 setback at Chicago in which reserve Ben Gordon poured in 21 points -- all in the first half -- and Rodney Stuckey added 18 points.

Tayshaun Prince was the only other scorer in double figures with 15 points and Ben Wallace grabbed 13 rebounds for Detroit, which shot 37.8 percent for the game. Detroit was also outrebounded by a 51-44 margin.

"There were two different teams out there," said Pistons head coach John Kuester. "In the first half we were outstanding, we were sharing the basketball, playing together, making shots. Second half we played like strangers, and that's what hurt us."

Detroit was outscored 34-9 in the fourth quarter. In injury news for the Pistons, guard Richard Hamilton (foot) and forward Charlie Villanueva (ankle) are listed as questionable for tonight. Guard Will Bynum (hamstring) is expected to miss the game.

The last time the Celtics hit the road they were left scratching their heads following a loss at Cleveland. They were coming off a big win at home over Miami to kick off the 2010-11 campaign, but suffered a 95-87 loss to the Cavaliers last Wednesday.

Boston, however, got back into the win column with Friday's 105-101 defeat of the Atlantic Division-rival New York Knicks in Beantown. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett scored 25 and 24 points, respectively, for the Celtics, who had a 54-38 advantage on the glass. Pierce grabbed 14 rebounds and Garnett added 10, while Rajon Rondo posted a triple-double with 10 points, 10 boards and 24 assists. The 24 assists were four shy of Bob Cousy's franchise record from 1959 and Rondo posted his fifth career triple-double.

"Stats are one thing but the influence and how he controls the game is another," Garnett said of Rondo. "There's very few in the game that can do it. He's a special player, man."

Shaquille O'Neal is listed as doubtful for Tuesday's game with a bruised right knee suffered in Friday's win over the Knicks. He had 10 points and seven rebounds in the game. Jermaine O'Neal (knee) is probable for tonight.

Boston took two of three meetings with Detroit a year ago and has won seven of the last nine encounters. The Celtics, however, have dropped 11 of their last 16 trips to The Palace of Auburn Hills.