Milestone Win: Paul Pierce Passes Larry Bird As Celtics Crush Bobcats, 94-84

Paul Pierce made history on Tuesday night, passing Larry Bird to move into second place on the Boston Celtics' all-time scoring list as the C's delivered a beatdown to the Charlotte Bobcats, 94-84, at TD Garden in Boston, MA.

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The Way, The Truth, The Life: Paul Pierce's Journey To Celtics Lore

Paul Pierce never saw it coming. Growing up in Southern California with a love of basketball and the Los Angeles Lakers, the last thing Pierce ever thought about was playing for the hated Boston Celtics. My oh my, how times have changed.

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Paul Pierce: Passing Larry Bird Was A 'Great Honor' And 'Relief'

BOSTON - Paul Pierce sent the TD Garden crowd into a frenzy when he hit a corner three with 10:23 to play in the third quarter of the Boston Celtics' 94-84 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA.

Of course, it wasn't just an ordinary basket. Pierce's three moved him into second place all-time on the Celtics' franchise scoring list. By doing so, Pierce passed one of the greatest men ever to play the game of basketball and represent Boston, Larry Bird. Naturally, it was a special moment for the longtime Celtics captain.

"It was a relief," said Pierce, who finished the game with 15 points, nine assists an eight rebounds in 37 minutes. "So much was hanging over me for the last couple days just hearing about it and knowing that you've got a game to play. So many people just talk about it and talk about it. Definitely, it's a great feeling knowing that you're going to be up there with the greatest Celtics. Larry Bird would probably be one of the most important players to ever play in this franchise. To have your name up there with him is a great honor."

During the next timeout after Pierce's milestone basket, the Celtics honored him with a video tribute with highlights from his many years with the organization. All throughout, Pierce received a booming ovation from the sellout Garden crowd.

"I saw glimpses of it. Doc [Rivers] was talking during the timeout. You just try to focus in on the game, soak it all in after the game. I'll probably soak it in a bit more once I go home and sit down and realize what's really going on right now. It's so fresh in m head right now."

Pierce scored seven points in the first half, putting him two points shy of tying Bird's mark heading into halftime. Pierce missed his first field goal attempt and finally broke onto the scoreboard with a fastbreak layup from Rajon Rondo with 2:52 left in the first quarter. Pierce scored his next two on a driving layup with 34.6 seconds left in the quarter and got fouled. He made the free throw, placing him four points shy of Bird's scoring mark through 12 minutes of play.

After sitting out the first five minutes of the quarter, Pierce returned and immediately hit a 17-foot jumper on another Rondo assist. He only needed two more points to tie Bird, but he missed several shots down the stretch, including a three at the buzzer, and couldn't reach the milestone before the half.

FInally, after nearly giving the crowd a heart attack with all his misses, Pierce notched history early in the third. Rondo took the ball up court and passed it inside, but the ball was tipped and deflected to the sideline. However, a Bobcats player saved the ball rom going out of bounds but accidentally passed it to Rondo, who found Pierce open for three.

"It's just awesome," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers of Pierce's achievement. "I mean, I told the guys you'[ve got to have several things: One, is longevity. The second thing is health. And then I said the third - and the fourth - the third things is you've got to be old as hell, because you've got to stick around a long time. And then the fourth thing: you've got to ball.You've got to play some amazing basketball. Here, to do what he did, you know, passing Larry Bird - that's impressive."

For more Celtics and Bobcats coverage, visit our blogs, CelticsBlog and Rufus On Fire.

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Celtics Vs. Bobcats Final Score: Paul Pierce Passes Larry Bird As Boston Cruises, 94-84

BOSTON - Paul Pierce made history with his three-pointer with 10:23 remaining in the third quarter, moving him into second place all-time on the Boston Celtics scoring list. The man Pierce leapfrogged? None other than Larry Legend.

Pierce's three pushed him past basketball and team icon, Larry Bird, and was met with a chaotic ovation from the crowd. Pierce raised his hands in celebration after the basket and received an ongoing booming ovation. During the next timeout, the Celtics honored Pierce with a video tribute, and the captain walked to center court to acknowledge the crowd.

Up until that point, the Celtics had struggled to maintain focus and let the Charlotte Bobcats, the worst team in the NBA, hang around. But when the milestone was passed, the C's regained focus and took care of business with a 94-84 win.

Pierce finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and nine assists in the milestone game. No doubt, Pierce was the top storyline of the game, but Kevin Garnett was the player of the game for Boston, leading all scorers with 22 points and had eight rebounds. Ray Allen scored 17, Rajon Rondo added 10 points and 14 assits and Brandon Bass had 13 points.

Reggie Williams paced the Bobcats with 21 points and Derrick Brown added 20 points off the bench. Kemba Walker, a UConn graduate, had 16 points and seven rebounds in his return to the region.

Boston has a tough test ahead when it hosts the Los Angeles Lakers on

For more Celtics and Bobcats coverage, visit our blogs, CelticsBlog and Rufus On Fire.

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VIDEO: Paul Pierce Passes Larry Bird On Boston Celtics Scoring List

BOSTON - Paul Pierce made history on Tuesday night, as his three pointer early in the third quarter moved him into second place on the Boston Celtics' all-time scoring list, passing basketball icon and team legend Larry Bird.

Paul Pierce Passes Larry Bird On Celtics Scoring List (2/7/12) (via GethinCoolbaugh)

(Video quality isn't great, I know, but I did the best I could in an amped up crowd)

Pierce's three sent the crowd into chaotic cheering. After the shot, Pierce lifted his hands in celebration and thanked the crowd, which gave him a lengthy booming ovation. During the next timeout, Pierce was honored with a video tribute on the jumbotron at TD Garden.

Entering the game, Pierce was nine points short of tying Bird and has 21,782 points. Pierce had seven points in the first half and missed several baskets that would have tied or broken Bird's mark towards the end of the second half, including a three pointer as time expired in the opening half.

For more Celtics and Bobcats coverage, visit our blogs, CelticsBlog and Rufus On Fire.

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Celtics Vs. Bobcats: Paul Pierce Passes Larry Bird On Scoring List

BOSTON - Paul Pierce made history on Tuesday night, passing Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird on the team's all-time scoring list during the third quarter of the team's game against the Charlotte Bobcats at TD Garden. Bird, who was second on the franchise scoring list with 21,791 career points, now moves into third place in team history.

Pierce entered the game nine points short of tying Bird's record with 21,782 points. Pierce passed Bird on a three pointer early in the third quarter. After the shot, Pierce was greeted with a booming ovation and acknowledged the crowd.

Entering the game, Pierce was averaging a team-leading 18.6 points and is also averaging 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 20 games this season. Pierce missed Boston's first three games o the season with a bruised right heel suffered just before the start of training camp.

Boston currently leads Charlotte, 50-45, with 9:23 left in the third quarter.

For more Celtics and Bobcats coverage, visit our blogs, CelticsBlog and Rufus On Fire.

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Celtics Vs. Bobcats Halftime Score: Boston Up 45-38 At The Break

BOSTON - Kevin Garnett stole the show in the first half, scoring 10 points in the opening 24 minutes, but the Boston Celtics have let the lowly Charlotte Bobcats hang around, as the C's only lead 45-38 heading into halftime.

The Celtics have been distracted so far, ironically by captain Paul Pierce, who has seven points in the half and is two points shy of tying Larry Bird for second place on the team's all-time scoring list. Pierce entered the game with 21,782 points and was nine shy of Bird's mark.

After reaching seven points midway through the second quarter, it was clear that the Celtics were trying to force the ball to Pierce, but the captain could not convert on any shots. Pierce even missed a deep three as time expired in the half.

Rajon Rondo has eight points and six assists while Brandon Bass has nine points off the bench. Boston is shooting 50 percent for the half, having made 19-of-38 shots.

Reggie Williams is off to a fast start with a game-high 12 points for Charlotts, which is shooting 43 percent at the break. UConn graduate Kemba Walker has just two points and two rebounds at the break in his return to the region.



For more Celtics and Bobcats coverage, visit our blogs, CelticsBlog and Rufus On Fire.

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Celtics Vs. Bobcats: Brandon Bass Will Play, Daniels, Dooling Out

BOSTON - Brandon Bass' one-game hiatus will stay at one, as the Boston Celtics reserve will play on Tuesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats after missing the team's last game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Super Bowl Sunday.

"Brandon is back, and that's good," Celtics coach Doc Rivers confirmed before the game.

Bass sat out of Sunday's game, a 98-80 win for the Celtics, with a knee injury and participated in the team's shootaround Tuesday. Bass is averaging a bench-leading 11.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in a reserve roll with the Celtics this season.

Meanwhile, fellow reserves Marquis Daniels and Keyon Dooling will not play for the Celtics on Tuesday. Dooling has been battling a hip injury while Daniels is working his way back from a foot injury.

"I don't know if he's close," Rivers said about Dooling." Eddie [Lacerte, the Celtics' team trainer] thought a week or so. Bottom line, he thought he had a chance [to return] before the All-Star break."

Check out more pregame news and notes in Rivers' pregame interview (click on link below).

AUDIO: Doc Rivers Pregame Interview (2-7-12)

For more Celtics and Bobcats coverage, visit our blogs, CelticsBlog and Rufus On Fire.

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Celtics Vs. Bobcats: Previewing Tuesday's Game With Rufus On Fire

Ben Swanson, the managing editor of Rufus On Fire -- SB Nation's official Charlotte Bobcats blog -- answered five questions about Tuesday's game between the Boston Celtics and Bobcats. Questions in bold, answers are below.

For those who aren't paying attention to the Charlotte Bobcats this season, all they have to go off of to gauge their success is their record. And it isn't good ... at all. At 3-21, the Bobcats appear to be horrendous. Is this team as bad as its record says it is, and what has gone wrong for this squad in 2011-12?1)

Swanson: This team is as bad as its record, though it's not without circumstantial problems. Injuries have robbed the team of its top three scorers (D.J. Augustin, Gerald Henderson and Corey Maggette), but they've still been pretty bad with them. They're certainly better with those players than without them. However, they have played about as well as you'd expect on a nightly basis with who they put on the court. One cannot just blame injuries for their problems though. The most glaring problems are simply a lack of talent and they have gotten inconsistent play from everyone.

Kemba Walker seems to be one of the lone bright spots. Obviously, the UConn star flourished in the college game and appears to be on his way to a successful NBA career. Do you believe Walker is the Bobcats' star of the future, and is he someone that Charlotte can build around?

Swanson: I wouldn't go as far as calling Walker a star. I think he can certainly be quite good at the NBA level, He's very good at taking opponents off the dribble and creating his own shot, but isn't consistently hitting those shots yet. His passing isn't quite there, but it's developing. I don't think he's the guy to build around, but I think he could be the Russell Westbrook to someone else's Kevin Durant down the road, or something along those lines.

It's not usually a good thing when the most well known member of the team is the owner. Then again, not every team has Michael Jordan as an owner. In your opinion, how has Jordan done in his time as the team's owner. Can he be as successful as an owner as he was as a player?

Swanson: Jordan as an owner has been both good and bad, I guess. He's made the team much more marketable for sponsors, which is HUGE. Before he came aboard, the was a company called Spongetech that did a bunch of advertising during Bobcats games. MJ brought in many more reputable sponsors and made the team much more encouraging on that front. But in the basketball aspect, it's not difficult to say he's been mediocre. I'm glad he's taking the steps to go into full-fledged rebuilding mode and that he brought in Rich Cho as GM. But I still worry about the future of the franchise just because of its drafting history and how much the team's future will reside in how well they draft come July. I think he can be successful as an owner, but I think he needs to go a little more hands-off.

How close are the Bobcats to being successful again? Are they one or two good players away, or is this going to be a lengthy rebuilding process? Do you have hope for the immediate future?

Swanson: The Bobcats are a few years off of being successful, easy. They need to be much smarter than they have been. That means no giving Matt Carroll $4-5 million/year. No trading for DeSagana Diop. That means drafting well. They need to get a franchise-quality player in this coming draft. They simply can't afford to whiff in this draft. Once that happens, it'll take another year for him to develop some more and the team to get some more quality talent around him. So yeah, I'd say it's another couple years off, assuming they don't screw the pooch, which is also quite possible.

Prediction time. Instead of asking who you think will win, we'll rephrase the question: how many points will Charlotte lose by on Tuesday? 10? 20? More?

Swanson: I'd guess the Bobcats drop this one by 20 or more points. I'm guessing Rondo will frustrate Kemba, while the Celtics kill Reggie Williams by running Ray Allen around hundreds of screens. Paul Pierce will eviscerate Tyrus Thomas at the 3 (yes, Tyrus plays small forward, more often than I'd like, I might add). I just can't see it being close.



For more Celtics and Bobcats coverage, visit our blogs, CelticsBlog and Rufus On Fire.

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Celtics Vs. Bobcats: Paul Pierce On Brink Of History As Boston Hosts Charlotte

Paul Pierce is on the brink of history, as the legendary Boston Celtics captain is 10 points shy of passing Larry Bird for second place on the franchises' all-time scoring list. Boston hosts the Charlotte Bobcats at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday.

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