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The Boston Celtics showed the Detroit Pistons that Allen Iverson may not be the answer for them.
Tony Allen scored 12 of his 23 points in the pivotal second quarter, lifting Boston to an 88-76 win over Detroit last night.
Iverson was given a standing ovation when he was introduced for the first time as a Piston at The Palace, the frenzied fans so loud the public-address announcer couldn't be heard.
A sold-out crowd stayed in the game during a closely contested first quarter before being quieted in the second, when Boston used four reserves to outscore Detroit 30-10.
The defending champions didn't have any trouble keeping their big cushion in a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals.
Iverson finished his third home debut with 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting, with four assists and four turnovers.
Detroit acquired the former league MVP, Denver Nugget and Philadelphia 76er last week for All-Star point guard Chauncey Billups, key reserve Antonio McDyess and throw-in Cheikh Samb. McDyess will be bought out of his contract, according to his agent Andy Miller, and the Pistons would welcome the power forward back.
The Celtics had enough to eliminate Detroit in Game 6 of the conference finals on its home court and clearly seemed to be the better team again.
Boston didn't even need all of its stars to shine in the easy win.
Ray Allen had 17 points, Kevin Garnett scored eight on 4-of-15 shooting and Paul Pierce added seven on 3-of-10 shooting. Rajon Rondo scored 13 points and Eddie House had eight points as one of four reserves with at least six points for the Celtics.
Detroit's Tayshaun Prince had 23 points and eight rebounds. Rasheed Wallace had 10 points on 4-of-17 shooting and 11 rebounds. Reserve Will Bynum added 11 points.
Richard Hamilton, who was 0-for-8, scored just three points on free throws.
Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey felt dizzy and lightheaded late in the first half and did not return to play.
This program aired on November 10, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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