Paul Pierce isn't Monta Ellis, you know. Scoring isn't the only part of his game. Pierce has proven that fact time and time again, and he did so once more in the Boston Celtics' 107-91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly, giving Boston a 2-1 series advantage.
Pierce, who was the game's second-leading scorer, had 24 points on 6-of-17 shooting (11-for-14 at free throw line), but also grabbed 12 rebounds (five offensive) and had three steals and four assists in 37 minutes -- all while playing with a sprained MCL in his left knee.
"It shows that I can do other things than scoring," Pierce said. "If my scoring wasn't there tonight, I can have an impact on the game with my defense and my rebounding."
Pierce was also commended for his all-around play by Celtics' head coach Doc Rivers.
"When we talked about it before, if what you do well is not there, what else are you going to do to help the team as a group?," said Rivers, who said before the game that he was going to make some changes to Pierce's offensive game. "Paul was a great example for that."
In order for Pierce to keep contributing in every which way, he'll need to be healthy. Pierce will tell you that he's feeling fine, but he clearly hasn't been the same player since suffering the MCL injury during shootaround prior to Game 4 of the Celtics' opening round series against the Atlanta Hawks. Pierce will have one day off to continue healing, as Boston doesn't play again until Friday, when it battles Philadelphia in Game 4 at 8 p.m. EST (TNT).