BOSTON - Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett each reached significant milestones in the Boston Celtics' 106-84 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night at TD Garden, their last home game until March 25 as the team embarks upon an eight-game West coast road trip starting Sunday.
Pierce, who led the Celtics with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting, played in his 1,000th career game, all with the Celtics. It's a rare accomplishment for a player to reach that milestone, especially with the same team, and the Celtics know that well.
"I remember how nervous I was," Pierce said about his first game, now over 13 seasons ago. "When you think back to your first game ever here in the Garden, your excited to get your career started. And now with so many years passed, and I've reached a thousand games it's like wow I see a combination of a long time and that I'm getting old."
Rajon Rondo, the Celtics' star point guard, was impressed and honored to play with Pierce.
"It's rare," Rondo said about the feat. "You don't take it for granted, I don't think he takes it for granted. There's only like six or seven guys that have ever done it. He's one of the guys that's probably going to retire as a Celtic. It's an honor to play with him."
Garnett also reached significant milestones, surpassing the 45,000 minutes played mark which puts him 12th all-time. In addition, Garnett (10 points, eight rebounds against Blazers) moved into second place all-time in defensive rebounds, but the statistic has only been tracked since the 1973-1974 season.