Rookie Glen Davis came off the bench to score a career-high 20 points in just under 23 minutes, Paul Pierce had 19 points and nine rebounds and Kevin Garnett 15 points as the Celtics avenged the narrow loss they suffered at home to the Pistons last month.
Neither team had lost since.
"It was a nice win. We came back and we returned the favour," Boston coach Doc Rivers told reporters. "They beat us on our floor and we came in here and beat them on theirs.
"Unfortunately, there are quirks in the schedule and we only play them three times this year, but it was a fun game and we got excited."
It was the first time since 1981 that two NBA teams with at least 54 combined wins played on this date. It was also the first time since 2000 that two teams with active winning streaks of at least eight games played each other.
The Celtics trailed by 12 points and came back for the win, with Davis helping the cause in his reserve role as Garnett battled foul woes.
"He is growing and tonight his energy was tremendous and even infectious in some ways," said Rivers.
Richard Hamilton had 18 points, Chauncey Billups 17 and Rasheed Wallace 16 points and eight rebounds for the Pistons, who fell to 26-8.
"They out-hustled us, they out-rebounded us, and they got so many second-chance points," said Billups.
Putting the January meeting in perspective, Rivers said: "It was a big game tonight, but tomorrow will be another big night."
The New Orleans Hornets posted a 118-113 road victory over the Phoenix Suns, with Chris Paul scoring 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter. Peja Stojakovic scored 23 and Morris Peterson 22.
Leandro Barbosa scored 28 points and Steve Nash had 23 points and 11 assists, but the Suns' four-game winning streak was snapped and New Orleans tied Phoenix for the Western Conference lead in wins with 23.
Jason Kidd had his second triple double in as many games and his ninth of the season, recording 10 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds to lead the New Jersey Nets to their fifth win in a row, a 113-107 road decision over the Atlanta Hawks.
Vince Carter scored 29 points as the Nets moved over the .500 mark (17-16) for the first time since November, despite 34 points by Atlanta's Josh Smith.
* Yao Ming scored 30 points and added eight rebounds and six assists when the Houston Rockets scored a 103-91 home win over the hapless New York Knicks. The Rockets are 4-2 without the injured Tracy McGrady.
* The Portland Trail Blazers got revenge against the team that ended their 13-game winning streak earlier in the week, riding a career-high 26 points by Martell Webster to a 103-99 home victory over the Utah Jazz. The Blazers have won 16 of their last 17 games.