AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Antonio McDyess refused to let the Detroit Pistons get pushed to the brink of elimination.
McDyess had his best game of the playoffs, scoring 21 points and grabbing 16 rebounds, and Coatesville's Richard Hamilton added 20 points to lift Detroit to a 94-75 series-evening win last night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.
"He did everything," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said of McDyess.
Game 5 is tomorrow night in Boston, then the Pistons will host Game 6 on Friday night.
Boston's Big Three shot awfully as did most of the Celtics, but the NBA's top-seeded team stayed competitive for much of the game thanks to a stark disparity in free throws.
Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined to miss their first seven shots and finished 11 for 38 from the field.
Garnett and Pierce both scored 16 points and Allen had 11.
"They bumped us off spots and were more physical and aggressive all night," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Usually the winner is the team that was more aggressive.
"They had a no-layup rule, and that's why we made it to the line so much."
Detroit's Rasheed Wallace scored 14 points, Chauncey Billups added 10, and reserve Jason Maxiell filled in for teammates in foul trouble by scoring 14 points and playing tough defense - especially against Garnett.
"I thought he bodied him and didn't give him anything easy," Saunders said.
Detroit scored the first 10 points of the game and started the second quarter with an 11-2 run, but led by just 43-39 at halftime.
The Celtics stayed in the game by making 17 of 20 free throws in the first half while Detroit was 5 for 9.