The Celtics opened a brief two-game homestand with Sunday's 95-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls behind Rajon Rondo's 15th career triple-double (including the postseason). Rondo finished the contest with 32 points, 10 rebounds, 15 assists and two steals, and made 11-of-22 shots from the floor. He also sank 10 of 13 free throws for the Celtics, who ended a two-game slide and won for the 10th time in 13 tries.
Rondo also became just the fifth active player to record 10 field goals and 10 free throws in a triple-double, joining LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Tracy McGrady and Richard Jefferson. Paul Pierce had just nine points and explained how Rondo's aggressiveness paid off in huge dividends.
"When he's out in transition, pushing the ball, taking the shots right there, the mid-range, rebounding, he's just all energy," said Pierce. "He's one of those guys when he plays with a lot of energy, he's so tough because he can rebound the ball well, when he pushes off the break he's tough to stop in transition. He just did it all tonight. He was great to watch."
Kevin Garnett had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who made 49.3 percent of their shots and improved to 11-7 at home. Boston is four games behind Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division lead and will hit the road to Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Oklahoma City and Cleveland after Wednesday's game.
Detroit has stumbled a bit after winning a season-best four straight games and looks to avoid its third consecutive loss this evening.
It went 1-2 on a three-game homestand and sustained a 99-95 setback versus the San Antonio Spurs last night at The Palace. Rodney Stuckey had 23 points and eight assists, while Tayshaun Prince added 18 points for Detroit, which is a lowly 8-21 on the season and shot a decent 46.4 percent from the field.
Detroit veteran center Ben Wallace celebrated a milestone, appearing in his 1,055th career game -- a record for an undrafted NBA player. He had nine points and five rebounds in about 27 minutes in a reserve role.
"This was one of those games (against the Spurs) that I knew everyone would get up for," said Wallace, "and for the most part we did."
The Pistons hope to improve on their 2-12 road mark Wednesday in Boston. Greg Monroe was cooled off last night to the tune of four points and six boards.
Detroit dropped a 96-85 decision in Boston on Dec. 30 this season, as Pierce had 12 points in his season debut after a heel injury sidelined him for the first three games. Monroe scored 22 and had nine rebounds in that one for the Pistons, who have lost three straight and 11 of the last 14 meetings in this series.
Detroit has lost four in a row and six of its last seven at Boston.