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Detroit Pistons Beat Boston Celtics 96-81 For 7th Win In 9 Games

Pistons Celtics

02/19/12 09:10 PM ET  AP

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Greg Monroe had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Rodney Stuckey added 16 points to lead the surging Detroit Pistons over the Boston Celtics 96-81 on Sunday night.

Detroit has now won seven of its last nine games, including two victories in five days over the Celtics, who were missing Kevin Garnett (personal reasons) and Brandon Bass (left knee).

Paul Pierce led Boston with 18 points.

The Pistons scored 40 points off 24 turnovers, while the Celtics got only 13 points off Detroit's 15 giveaways. The Pistons also had a 29-6 edge in second-chance points.

The Pistons led 55-42 at halftime, but they could have been ahead by 20. Detroit took 29 free throws in the first half – the Celtics had just 10 – but missed 12 of them.

Doc Rivers and former Piston Chris Wilcox both picked up technical fouls in the first half for arguing calls.

Boston finally started getting to the line in the third quarter, pulling to 59-54 before Jermaine O'Neal missed a pair of free throws that could have made it a three-point game.

That seemed to take the wind out of Boston's sails, and the Pistons needed less than three minutes to move the lead back to 12. Moments later, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo picked up two technicals in a span of five seconds and was ejected from the game.

Even with the Pistons missing five more free throws, they led 75-61 at the end of the third.

NOTES: Rivers said he knew on Thursday that Garnett would be unavailable for the game, but doesn't know if the veteran forward will rejoin the team in time for Monday's game in Dallas. ... The Pistons finished the game with an 46-15 edge in free-throw attempts.

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Filed by Simone Landon  |