AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP)—Allen Iverson was welcomed to the Motor City with a standing ovation so loud that the public-address announcer couldn’t be heard.
Tony Allen scored 12 of his 23 points in the pivotal second quarter, lifting Boston to an 88-76 win on Sunday night.
Iverson said he got “chillbumps” when he was introduced and heard the roar of the crowd.
“That’s all you want when you get traded,” said Iverson, who has been dealt twice in two years. “You want to get that initial feeling of how they embrace and accept you.”
A sold-out crowd stayed in the game during a closely contested first quarter before being silenced in the second, when Boston used four reserves to outscore Detroit 30-10.
“That’s our job,” Allen said. “If we don’t come in and give the team a lift, we aren’t doing what we are supposed to do.”
The defending champions didn’t have any trouble keeping their big cushion in a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals.
Iverson finished with 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting with four assists and four turnovers.
The Pistons fell to 0-2 with Iverson.
“I’m not up here to talk about how long it’s going to take for everything to look smooth,” coach Mike Curry said. “He did a lot of good things and I’m going to encourage him to be even more aggressive.”
Boston coach Doc Rivers said the Pistons will be better, but it’s going to take time.
“When you get a new player, especially one that is going to have his hands on the ball, it changes 75 percent of your offense,” Rivers said. “The fans don’t understand how hard it is to change a point guard in the middle of a season, but it is tough. It changes everything.”
The Pistons miss Billups’ ability to run the offense and McDyess’ shooting touch off the bench. McDyess will be bought out of his contract, according to his agent Andy Miller, and the Pistons desperately need the power forward back.
The Celtics had enough to eliminate Detroit in Game 6 of the conference finals on its home court and clearly seemed to be the better team again.
Boston didn’t even need all of its stars to shine in the easy win.
Ray Allen had 17 points, Kevin Garnett scored eight on 4-of-15 shooting and Paul Pierce added seven on 3-of-10 shooting. Rajon Rondo scored 13 points and Eddie House had eight points as one of four reserves with at least six points for the Celtics.
“Our bench has been phenomenal,” Rivers said. “We’ve started out slow in three or four games, but the energy of the bench has been tremendous. There isn’t one guy that carries them.”
Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince had 23 points and eight rebounds.
“Through all of this, I love how Tayshaun is staying aggressive,” Curry said.
Richard Hamilton, who was 0-for-8, scored just three points on free throws.
“They do a good job of trapping Rip,” Curry said. “They did that last season and in the playoffs. The only way they’re not going to trap him is if the other bigs complete plays.”
That’s where Detroit misses McDyess, who kept defenses honest by making jump shots.
Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey felt dizzy and lightheaded late in the first half and did not return to play. Curry said he hoped Stuckey would join the team for a practice Monday before playing on the road Tuesday night against Sacramento.
The Celtics made 45 percent of their shots and held Detroit to 35 percent shooting. “Best defense of the year by far,” Rivers said. … Famed Motown group The Four Tops had a double-header Sunday, singing the national anthem for the Pistons and the Lions in a span of 5 hours. … Iverson looked at home in his new locker room, occupying Billups’ corner stalls and laughing out loud at an episode of “Sanford and Son,” on a portable TV monitor. “That (guy) is crazy!” Iverson said.