NBA

Wed, Dec 29, 2010 - 7:30 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Celtics-Pistons Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Kevin Garnett has been enjoying a nice revival for the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics, looking healthier - and posting better numbers - than he did last season.

The last time he faced the Detroit Pistons, it was his prolific trash-talking that got most of the attention.

The Celtics finish their three-game road trip Wednesday night with their first matchup against the Pistons since Garnett's public spat with Charlie Villanueva.

After battling knee problems for parts of the last two years, Garnett is averaging 15.4 points and 9.8 rebounds - up from 14.3 and 7.3 last season - and his 14 double-doubles are already more than the 10 he had in 69 games in 2009-10.

He had a game-high 22 points to help Boston (24-5) win 109-86 in Detroit on Nov. 2, but his on-court comments to Villanueva made bigger headlines. Villanueva, who has no hair due to a medical condition known as alopecia universalis, said on Twitter that Garnett called him a "cancer patient."

Garnett responded in a statement, saying he told Villanueva he was "cancerous to your team and our league." Celtics coach Doc Rivers, meanwhile, said players shouldn't reveal what is said on the court.

"I actually heard what Kevin said. I was right there, what he really said is in the statement," Rivers said. "I don't like the whole tweeting thing. I'm going to state that as well. Guys talk on the court. It doesn't mean they should or shouldn't. The fact that we're talking about this, it's just silly. ... We had a hell of a game (Nov. 2) and we should be talking about basketball."

Garnett has provided a distinct basketball advantage for Boston against the Pistons lately. The Celtics have won the last eight meetings in which the power forward has suited up by an average of 14.5 points, losing the two he missed due to injury in that stretch.

The Celtics have other health concerns - especially involving star point guard Rajon Rondo, who missed his fifth straight game due to a sprained left ankle Tuesday in Indiana.

Thanks to a 29-16 fourth-quarter edge, Boston still bounced back after its 14-game winning streak was snapped on Christmas in Orlando. In the 95-83 win over the Pacers, Paul Pierce had 21 points and seven assists, leading seven Celtics who scored at least eight points.

"The winning track is always a good track to be on," Pierce said. "You don't want to be on that train when you're losing and you're going downhill fast. I don't think we've been playing great. We can play a lot better."

It's hard to imagine how Boston could improve defensively after holding its last five opponents to 90 or fewer points. Indiana leading scorer Danny Granger was 5 of 21 from the field Tuesday.

The Pistons (10-21) have averaged 87.3 points in their last 11 meetings with Boston, and they've dropped their first two games after Christmas. After Sunday's 95-92 overtime defeat to Chicago, they lost 105-100 at Charlotte on Monday.

Detroit never fully recovered after the Bobcats began the second quarter on a 24-2 run, although coach John Kuester was pleased with his team's late comeback attempt, which included 17 second-half points from Villanueva.

Villanueva finished with 25 on 10-of-14 shooting, while Chris Wilcox added a season-high 15 - nine in the final 13 minutes - off the bench.

"I thought the energy of the second group that we put in for the second half was great," Kuester said.

Tagged: Celtics, Pistons, Kevin Garnett, Chris Wilcox, Charlie Villanueva

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..