Winless Celtics host Pistons in home opener

Twitter serves many purposes -- both good and evil -- but 4 start in 42 years.

After a winless three-game road trip to open the season, the Celtics pull up the curtains at TD Garden versus the Detroit Pistons with the prospect of having Paul Pierce in the lineup for the first time this campaign.

A bruised right heel forced Pierce to sit out Boston's opening swing through New York, Miami and New Orleans, but the guard took to the Internet on Thursday night to let Celtics fans know his return is forthcoming.

"I'm close very very close very," Pierce tweeted.

While that isn't a guarantee that the former NBA Finals MVP and nine-time All- Star will play in tonight's home opener, it does leave the door wide open.

Boston could certainly use Pierce back as it looks to avoid its first 0-4 start since 1969-70, one season after the franchise's 11th championship. The Celtics have lost their first three games to start a season for the first time since 2006-07 following Wednesday's 97-78 loss in New Orleans.

Playing their third road game in four nights, the Celtics shot just 37.2 percent from the field and were led by Ray Allen's 15 points. Rajon Rondo added 13 and six assists, while offseason pickup Brandon Bass notched 11 points.

Boston was also without forward Chris Wilcox due to a bruised left shoulder and he is doubtful for tonight.

"I don't think we were tight," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said. "I just thought we played tired. We looked old tonight. It happens."

Detroit arrives in town also looking for its first victory of this lockout- shortened season. The Pistons were bested at the Pacers on Monday before losing 105-89 to the Cavaliers in their home opener on Wednesday.

Ben Gordon led the Pistons with 25 points, while rookie Brandon Knight put forth a solid effort with 23 points and six assists. The eighth overall pick of the draft became the first Detroit rookie to score 20 or more points in one of his first two games since Grant Hill in November of 1994.

Detroit knows a little something about slow starts, having begun last year 0-5 before missing the playoffs for a second straight year.

"It's early, it's only the second game of the season," said Gordon. "But we're not taking these two losses for granted. With the way this season is, you have to have a short memory and put the bad ones behind you."

Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva will serve the final contest of his reduced four-game ban for an on-court altercation with Cavs center Ryan Hollins in April that also saw Villanueva enter Cleveland's locker room. He served the first game of the suspension in Detroit's regular-season finale.

Tayshaun Prince, who had 10 points in the more recent loss to the Cavaliers, is four blocks shy of 400 for his career.

Boston won three of four versus Detroit last year, with Pierce averaging 24.5 points per game. The Celtics have won 10 of the last 13 encounters in this series, including three straight and five of the past six in Boston.