The Boston fans and Celtics organization gave Paul Pierce a well-deserved tribute on Sunday afternoon, but the Celtics still came away with a 107-102 win over the Clippers.
Pierce gave Lucky one last kiss before the game started and played the opening minute, but he didn’t see much more action after that. Boston was dominant in the first quarter jumping out to and early double-digit lead. Isaiah Thomas contributed 13 points in the opening 12 minutes to solidify Boston’s 29-19 lead. After the first stoppage of play, the TD Garden gave Pierce a moving tribute that neither he or the fans will ever forget.
The Clippers made a run in the second quarter to make it a two-point game but Boston’s late helped them build some breathing room heading into the half. L.A’s bench scored 23 of their 29 points in the quarter while Boston used some hot performances from Crowder and Thomas to build a decent 56-47 lead at halftime.
Boston didn’t slow down coming out of the break, limiting the Clippers to only 20 points in the frame. The Celtics’ defense held strong and helped the team establish a comfortable 14-point lead heading into the final frame. L.A. snuck back into the game as they only trailed by four points with under a minute to play but Isaiah Thomas drilled some clutch free throws to solidify the win.
With the game wrapped up, Doc Rivers decided to let Paul Pierce play his final seconds on the TD Garden floor and he didn’t disappoint. There were 19.8 seconds left on the clock and Paul Pierce was given one last shot to cement his place in the history books with one last iconic moment in front of the Boston crowd that he loved so much. He, of course, nailed the three and the arena went ballistic; here’s what the scene looked like:
I had the pleasure of attending this game and without a doubt can say that it was the most moved, and emotional I have ever been at a basketball game. For Paul Pierce to end his last game in Boston in that way was almost like watching a movie. Congratulations and thank you to Paul Pierce for the storybook ending to your hall of fame career. #ThankYouPaul