Celtics rout Detroit


DETROIT, November 3 – Rajon Rondo had nine points and 17 assists Tuesday to lead Boston to a 109-86 thrashing of Detroit, insuring the Pistons are off to their first 0-4 NBA start since 1999.Kevin Garnett scored 22 points and Paul Pierce added 21 for the Celtics, who cruised to victory despite the absence of Shaquille O’Neal with a bruised right knee.

Charlie Villanueva scored 17 points for the Pistons, who played without Richard Hamilton, who is nursing a sore right foot.

Rondo had a triple-double with 24 assists Friday night against New York.

His performance on Tuesday gave him 67 assists through Boston’s first four games.

O’Neal, who didn’t make the trip, missed two straight practices since bruising his right knee against the Knicks.

Jermaine O’Neal started and scored 12 points, and rookie Semih Erden, a seven-footer from Turkey, made his debut.

Erden came in in the first quarter and quickly blocked two shots. He scored his first NBA points on a breakaway dunk in the second quarter.

Pierce’s scoring performance left him needing 23 points to reach 20,000 for his career. He’ll have a chance at the milestone when Boston host Milwaukee on Wednesday.