Part 1 – Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce passed Larry Bird to move into second place on the franchise’s list of all-time leading scorers during Tuesday night’s 94-84 win over the Charlotte Bobcats at TD Garden.
Pierce buried a 3-pointer from the right wing with 10:23 to go in the third quarter to move past Bird, who scored 21,791 points during his career, spent entirely with the Celtics. Only John Havlicek has scored more in team history with 26,395 points.
On the cusp of leapfrogging Bird, Pierce swore Sunday that he wouldn’t even think about the milestone moment during Tuesday’s game.
After two days of hype, Pierce found himself more weighed down by expectations than he anticipated at the start of Tuesday’s game. It was obvious that just about everyone in the building showed up to see him score nine points and those points were not going to come easy, even against an inferior opponent.
After missing seven of the 10 shots he put up in the first half, including five 3-pointers, Pierce made his second shot of the third quarter, a 3-pointer from the right wing with 10:23 to play to slide past Bird.
“I’m not going to lie, it was hanging over my head too much,” Pierce said of his first-half struggles. “How could it not? With every deep breath that the crowd was taking, every shot that went up, it was just like, you could just feel it. And it was hard to really ignore it and really focus on the game.