Rajon Rondo and his Boston Celtics (15-14) were caught off guard by Greg Monroe and the Detroit Pistons (10-22) in their last meeting this past Wednesday, and the C's are looking for revenge when the two teams clash at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday night in Auburn Hills, Michigan (TV/Radio: CSNNE/WEEI).
Rondo had a career night on Wednesday, scoring a career-high 35 points, but the Celtics couldn't back up their point guards' effort in a 98-88 loss at TD Garden. Boston was able to hang around for most of the game thanks to the performance of Rondo, but Ben Gordon turned the clock back to the 2009 playoffs and burned the C's down the stretch.
Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 22 points and was 11-for-11 from the free throw line while Monroe added 22 points and nine rebounds. Gordon had 22 points off the bench and hit 4-of-6 three pointers. Tayshaun Prince finished with 10 points as Detroit shot 47.3 percent.
Aside from Rondo, it was Chris Wilcox who stole the show for the Celtics. Wilcox had 17 points and nine rebounds and was the beneficiary of several Rondo alley-oop passes that resulted in dunks or layups. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, who usually carry the Celtics' scoring load, had only 10 points apiece. JaJuan Johnson added 10 points off the bench.
Sandwiched in between Wednesday and Sunday for the Celtics was a loss to the Eastern Conference leading Chicago Bulls, who were once again missing reigning league MVP Derrick Rose. That didn't seem to matter, though, as the Bulls walked all over the Celtics en route to an 89-80 victory. Kevin Garnett had 18 points and 10 rebounds while Rondo once again approached a triple double, totaling 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Boston shot 39.7 percent.
Detroit won its bridge game to the rematch with the Celtics, defeating the Sacramento Kings, 114-108 on Friday. Stuckey followed up his good game in Boston with a gem, amassing 36 points and three boards. Brandon Knight had 23 points and 10 assists, Prince had 22 points and 10 boards and Gordon added 13 points off the bench for Detroit.