KG-less Celtics stumble at home in loss to Pistons
Rodney Stuckey led the way with 25 points and Greg Monroe added 22 in a bounceback effort as visiting Detroit ousted undermanned Boston for just its third road victory of the campaign.
Stuckey shot just 7 for 15 from the field but made all 11 of his free throws as Detroit ended a three-game losing streak in Boston.
Rajon Rondo exploded for 35 points for the Celtics, who played without star forward Kevin Garnett for the first time this season. Garnett is recovering from a hip flexor suffered in a weekend victory over the Chicago Bulls.
Detroit hung tough with the Celtics through the opening 24 minutes and maintained that trend throughout the third quarter. After closing to within a point on a handful of occasions, the Pistons finally went ahead 73-72 on a Monroe tip-in with 23 seconds left in the frame.
Ben Gordon's 3-pointer made it a six-point game with 8:44 remaining, and he added another long-range basket less than a minute later as the Pistons stretched the advantage to double digits. Boston didn't challenge the rest of the way.
Gordon finished with 22 points - including four 3-pointers - in a reserve role.
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GAME NOTEBOOK: Garnett had been the only Celtics player to appear in every game this season. ... Jermaine O'Neal returned from a knee injury and recorded one point in 20 minutes. ... Ray Allen and Paul Pierce combined to shoot 4 for 16 for the Celtics. ... Monroe had just four points in Tuesday's loss to San Antonio. He shot 11 for 14 against Boston.