Tuesday recap: Paul Pierce passes Larry Bird in Boston Celtics' record books
- Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) only hit a third of his 18 shots on Tuesday night, but it was enough to put him past Celtics legend Larry Bird as the franchise’s No. 2 all-time leading scorer. Pierce, who drained a three-pointer in the third quarter to push past Bird, finished with 15 points on the night and 21,797 for his career (Bird had 21,791).
Before that pivotal three-pointer, Pierce had made only 3 of 11 shots and had missed all five of his attempts from beyond the arc.
He told ESPNBoston.com that the pressure of the record had something to do with his shaky shooting:
"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.
"Then Coach (Doc Rivers) said, 'Hurry up and get it out of the way.' It was a relief once I hit that one 3, so I could really concentrate and focus on the game."
The Celtics went on to win, 94-84, against the Charlotte Bobcats, and Pierce added eight rebounds and nine assists to just two turnovers (full stats here).
After the game, Pierce talked about what the accomplishment meant:
But how exactly did Pierce pass Bird’s scoring mark? As the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn pointed out, it was that same three-pointer that put Pierce over the record. Bird made 649 triples in his career, while Pierce, to this point, has made 1617.
Pierce is also No. 28 on the NBA's all-time scoring list. The only other Jayhawk at the top of the list? No. 4 Wilt Chamberlain, with 31,419 career points. After Pierce, Jo Jo White is next, waaaay back at No. 136, with 14,399 career points.
Other Tuesday games
Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) made four of his nine three-point shots on Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Heat went on to win, 107-91. Chalmers put up 14 points in 28 minutes, despite leaving with a minor hand injury during the third quarter. He added two rebounds, four assists, a steal and two turnovers (full stats here). It was Chalmers’ fifth game in a row with at least three treys and his 11th on the season. He is now ranked seventh in the NBA in three-point percentage (46.4 percent), sixth in total three-pointers made (52) and second in shooting percentage for players with 40 or more shots made (league leader Brandon Rush has only made 37 triples). It was also Chalmers’ 250th game with the Heat.
Drew Gooden (Milwaukee Bucks) posted 25 points on 21 shots on Tuesday night against the Suns, but the Bucks lost, 107-105, as Phoenix guard Steve Nash sank a shot with five seconds left. Gooden had an impressive third-quarter stretch where he made 5 of 6 shots for 11 points and cut the Suns’ 21-point lead to just seven at the start of the fourth quarter. He made 12 of 21 shots overall, with four rebounds, two assists and a block in 29 minutes (full stats here).
Of course, there were some blemishes too. From BrewHoop.com:
Drew Gooden. Nevermind the airball hook, the unsuccessful pass-off-the-backboard to himself followed by a flagrant foul, the walking off the court out of the way of a Marcin Gortat dunk, or the getting his layup blocked followed by getting his own rebound and immediately airballing a fadeaway. Okay, do mind all of that.
But Gooden hit for 25 points, marking the the fourth time in seven games he has scored 23+ points. And he often looks like the most viable and valuable source of offense around...
Brandon Rush (Golden State Warriors), the NBA’s leading three-point shooter, backed up that ranking on Tuesday, hitting 3 of 5 three-pointers for nine points against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Rush, who is now shooting 56.9 percent from the arc this season, did not take any other shots in his 27 minutes on the court. He also had two rebounds, an assist, a steal and two blocks (full stats here). The Warriors lost to the Thunder, 119-116, as Rush’s last-gasp three-pointer was blocked by OKC’s Kevin Durant.
Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) had a rough offensive night, scoring just two points on 1-for-7 shooting, but the Suns held off the Milwaukee Bucks for a 107-105 victory. Markieff missed his only three-point attempt and grabbed just two rebounds in 20 minutes, but he had two assists, two steals and a block. Most encouraging were two goose eggs in the stat columns: zero personal fouls and zero turnovers (full stats here).
Nick Collison (Oklahoma City Thunder) took and made his first shot in four games on Tuesday, contributing two points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal to a 119-116 Thunder victory over the Golden State Warriors (full stats here). He also took a charge, and after the game, the Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry wrote:
Collison had the typical Nick Collison type of game. I thought his rebounding and screens were difference-makers.
- Cole Aldrich (Oklahoma City Thunder) did not play... again (coach’s decision) as the Thunder took on the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. OKC won, 119-116 (full stats here). Aldrich’s main competition for playing time, veteran Nazr Mohammed, had a solid eight points, three rebounds, a steal and a block in nine minutes.
Jayhawks in upcoming NBA games
6 p.m., Drew Gooden and the Milwaukee Bucks vs. the Toronto Raptors
6 p.m., Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. the Orlando Magic
6:30 p.m., Kirk Hinrich and the Atlanta Hawks vs. the Indiana Pacers
7 p.m., Josh Selby and the Memphis Grizzlies vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves
7 p.m., Xavier Henry and the New Orleans Hornets vs. the Chicago Bulls