Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Tracy McGrady started in place of an ill Rodney Stuckey and the Pistons took advantage of an early injury to Kevin Garnett to beat Boston, 104-92, and send the Celtics to just their second loss in their last 17 games.
Garnett departed the contest late in the first quarter with a lower right leg injury. The 13-time All-Star went up for a dunk with nearly 2 1/2 minutes left in the period, hung on the rim and landed softly but was limping afterward and went in for X-rays.
Paul Pierce led the way with 33 points for the Celtics, who lost for the sixth time all season (24-6).
Stuckey didn’t play due to the stomach flu, and McGrady took over in a big way, hitting 7-of-11 shots and dishing out eight assists to help the Pistons snap a two-game skid.
It was Boston’s first game against the Pistons since a verbal war between Detroit forward Charlie Villanueva and Garnett. Following Boston’s November 2 blowout win over the Pistons, Villanueva said via Twitter that Garnett called him a “cancer patient.” Villanueva has a medical condition known as alopecia universalis, which results in hair loss. A day later, Garnett said he instead told Villanueva, “you are cancerous to your team and our league.”
During the first half, Villanueva noticeably bumped Garnett as he went back toward the Detroit bench, but nothing came of the contact.
Villanueva finished with 14 points, four less than teammate Tayshaun Prince.