Paul Pierce is already a Boston Celtics legend, and a future Hall of Famer, but he will take a major step towards cementing his legacy as one of the franchises' greatest scorers ever, as he is poised to pass Larry Bird and move into second place on the team's all-time scoring list on Tuesday night when Boston hosts the Charlotte Bobcats at 7:30 p.m. EDT. (TV/Radio: CSNNE/WEEI).
Pierce enters Tuesday's game with 21,781 points, and all signs point to him tying and surpassing Bird's scoring mark (21,791 points). Pierce is averaging a team-leading 18.6 points this season and has scored fewer than 10 points only three times all year in 20 games. It's possible that Pierce will even pass Bird in the first half if he gets off to a fast start.
While Pierce is chasing history (but to note, he's not even focused on passing Bird, telling the media he's just going to do his job and not think about it -- spoken like a true professional), the surging Celtics will look to capture their fifth win in a row and ninth victory in their last 12 games. Boston (13-10) has officially turned its season around after a rough start.
In their latest win, a 98-80 thrashing of the Memphis Grizzlies, Pierce had 21 points, six rebounds and six assists to lead the Celtics. Kevin Garnett contributed a vintage performance, totaling 24 points and nine rebounds. Ray Allen and Chris Wilcox each scored 12, JaJuan Johnson added 10 points and Rajon Rondo, playing in his second game back from a right wrist injury, had five points but a game-leading 14 assists. Boston shot 49.3 percent (36-for-73) in the victory.
Charlotte, meanwhile, hasn't been so fortunate. The Bobcats have a mere three victories on the season and have dropped 21 games, including a staggering 11 games in a row. Charlotte's most recent shortcoming came against the Phoenix Suns, with the Bobcats losing 95-89 on Saturday. UConn grad Kemba Walker scored a tema-leading 22 points and had four assists to lead Charlotte. Reggie Williams added21 points and Boris Diaw finished with 13 points in defeat.