With Boston up 87-82, and with just 38.9 seconds left in the game, the Celtics were inbounding the ball from under their own basket, needing to put a stop to the Lakers' 7-0 run that had turned a comfortable 12-point lead into a two-possession contest.
Game 5 hung in the balance -- Trey Kirby at Ball Don't Lie called it the Celtics' "most important inbounds play of the season" -- and while it worked out (rather amazingly), something tells me it's not quite how Doc drew it up in the huddle.
Pierce picked quite a moment to showcase his receiving skills, what with Bill Belichick and Wes Welker in attendance, plus a handful of other past and present Patriots.
"I was just showing off my Randy Moss and my Tom Brady in one play, that's all," Pierce told reporters. "Going up to catch it, then I went to my Brady mode when I was falling out of bounds to find Rondo for the receiving end."
Kevin Garnett probably shouldn't have made that pass. Derek Fisher certainly should have fouled Paul Pierce. Pierce probably shouldn't have made his pass, either. And there's certainly an argument to be made that Rajon Rondo shouldn't have attempted his layup, and instead just dribbled the ball back out to take time of the clock.
But it all worked out perfectly, and now the Celtics have yet another timeless play to join Havlicek and Bird on the highlight reels, and more importantly, a 3-2 series lead.