Both teams came to play in this game. The Celtics got out to a 10-5 lead, but the Pistons kept it close and the score was tied at 23 at the end of one quarter. Perk set the tone with 8 points and 8 rebounds in the opening period as he played the entire quarter along with Pierce and Rondo.
Perk got a layup to start the second quarter and Hamilton answered with a jumper to start the second quarter. On the next play, PJ went up to block a shot and was called for a flagrant foul. This was a terrible call and it gave the Pistons some momentum as they built a 35-30 lead with 9:58 to go in the quarter. They took their biggest lead at 42-36 with 4:58 left in the half. The Celtics went on a 16-4 run to end the half to take a 52-46 lead at the half.
The Celtics came out strong to start the third quarter and opened up the first double digit lead at 56-46 with 10:49 to go in the third. The Celtics continued to build on the lead and finished the quarter up 84-71.
In the 4th quarter, the Celtics allowed the Pistons to climb back into the game. The Pistons picked up their defensive intensity and that took the Celtics away from their game, making too many soft lob passes, taking too many quick shots instead of moving the ball. The Pistons got to within 1 point at 100-99 with 1:17 to play. Ray Allen hit a big shot to give the Celtics a 3 point lead with 59 seconds to play. After a miss on both sides, Stuckey was fouled and hit both free throws to once again cut the lead to 1. Rip Hamilton left the game with an elbow injury which could be significant for game 6 since Hamilton is one of the Pistons' main weapons. Ray Allen and KG both hit clutch free throws down the stretch and they played tough defense to win the game 106-102.
The player of the game was Kendrick Perkins. He finished the game with 18 points, 16 rebounds and 2 blocks. He set the tone early and was a big reason that the Celtics out rebounded the Pistons 42-25. Perk did everything in this game including getting a steal in the 3rd quarter and taking it all the way to the hoop where he was fouled and hit both free throws. It was that kind of night for Perk. I have to say that I always knew that Perk could play like this. I have been one of his biggest fans since day one and it is really great to see Perk coming up big in this series.
Ray Allen was huge in this game with 29 points on 9-15 shooting and hit the clutch shot and free throws to help put the game away. His confidence in his shot is back and that is a good sign for the Celtics. He also has 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Paul Pierce was double and triple teamed almost every time he got the ball and scored only 16 points, but he found his teammates for 6 assists and pulled down 5 rebounds. Rondo once again had a solid game. He missed several layups and shot only 3-14, but he had 13 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals and only 1 turnover in almost 46 minutes. Sam Cassell played only 2 minutes and contributed absolutely nothing except 1 turnover.
KG had a big scoring night, hitting big shots as the shot clock wound down time after time. He finished with 33 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. The Celtics bench contributed only 3 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. The Pistons bench came up big with 21 points. The Celtics outscored the Pistons in the paint 36-18 and they had 19 fast break points to just 8 for the Pistons. The Celtics shot 51% while the Pistons shot 46%. The Pistons were 11-21 from beyond the arc and that kept them in the game. Chauncey Billups seemed to be past his hamstring injury as he scored 26 points with 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Hamilton scored 25 points, hitting several big shots down the stretch as the Pistons cut into the lead at the end.
Game 6 is Friday and the Celtics have the momentum. They have proved that they can win in Detroit and the Pistons have concerns about their leading scorer as Hamilton left the game with an elbow injury and reports are that the x-rays were negative but he couldn't untie his shoes and left the locker room with his arm in a sling. So far, neither team has been able to win two games in a row but hopefully the Celtics can break that trend and close out this series in game 6.