Boston Celtics defeat Detroit Pistons, 88-76

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Pistons newcomer Allen Iverson recently said he wanted to "send a message" to the defending champions.

The Celtics sent their own message, loud and clear, with their defense last night, en route to easily handling their Eastern Conference rival and spoiling Iverson's home debut.

Led by a smothering defense, the Celtics were ahead by as many as 23 points before defeating the Pistons, 88-76, at a sold-out Palace of Auburn Hills. Boston improved to 6-...