Jermaine O'Neal scored 19 points as he and the Boston Celtics ended a dismal start to their season with a 96-85 victory in their home opener over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.
O'Neal, who played passively in totaling just eight points in the first three games, all losses, was aggressive throughout. He had 10 points in the first half, which ended with Boston on top 50-43. Then he scored seven in the third quarter, when the Celtics outscored the Pistons 36-21 to take an 86-64 lead.
Ray Allen and Brandon Bass added 17 points apiece for Boston and Paul Pierce had 12 in his debut after being sidelined with a bruised right heel.
Greg Monroe had 22 points for Detroit, which fell to 0-3.