AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Kevin Garnett led the Boston Celtics to their first win on the road in the playoffs.
Garnett scored 22 points and was one of six players to make the Celtics' first six baskets, helping them build the first of many big leads en route to a 94-80 victory over the Detroit Pistons last night and a two-games-to-one lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
The NBA's top-seeded team had lost its first six road games - tying a league record. The Celtics had been 9-0 at home until losing Detroit in the previous game.
The Pistons will host Game 4 tomorrow.
Detroit rallied to pull within 87-78 - its smallest deficit since midway through the second quarter - but couldn't get closer in a game in which it trailed by as many as 24 points.
Boston had balanced scoring, as Kendrick Perkins, Rajon Rondo and James Posey each scored 12 points. Ray Allen (14) and Paul Pierce (11) also were in double figures.
Detroit's Richard Hamilton scored 26 points, and rookie reserve Rodney Stuckey added 17.
Tayshaun Prince scored four points on 2-of-11 shooting, and Chauncey Billups had six points and appeared to be slowed after aggravating his right hamstring injury in Game 2.
Boston, which scored the first 11 points, led by 50-32 after holding Detroit to a playoff-low in the first half.
Lakers vs. Spurs. All the Los Angeles Lakers have done is protect their home-court advantage. It's how well they did it that has given the San Antonio Spurs reason to worry about protecting their own.
"We got to really step up, especially starting with me, and try to get those two games at home," San Antonio's Manu Ginobili said after his team's Game 2 loss Friday, a 101-71 debacle.
Game 3 is tonight and Game 4 is Tuesday.
"It's going to be really difficult because now they built confidence. They're playing great, so it's going to be even harder now. But we still believe," Ginobili said.
After the Lakers demonstrated their composure behind Kobe Bryant to rally from a 20-point deficit for a narrow Game 1 victory, they routed the Spurs in Game 2. Holding San Antonio to 34.5 percent shooting, Los Angeles essentially had the win in hand before the last quarter.
Only two Spurs - Tim Duncan and Tony Parker - scored in double digits.
"We have to have more people playing better," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.