Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) shot just 3 for 12 from the field and finished with 13 points in 35 minutes as the Celtics lost 88-79 to the Chicago Bulls on Friday. Pierce hit 2 of 3 three-pointers and added five assists, a steal and just one rebound (full stats here).
In the last three games (all Celtics losses), Pierce has made just eight of his 34 shot attempts (23.5 percent). On Friday, the Bulls blocked Pierce’s shot three times.
After the game, ESPNBoston.com’s Peter May wrote:
Paul Pierce reached a milestone of sorts Friday night against the Chicago Bulls. He played in his 971st game as a member of the Boston Celtics, tying him for third place all time with Kevin McHale.
Unfortunately for Pierce and the Celtics, he looked a lot like McHale did in his 971st game, namely, beaten up, worn down and looking for the nearest hot tub after another tough defeat.
May includes a lot of detail about Pierce’s struggles (and his confidence that things will turn around). You can read the full article here.
Drew Gooden (Milwaukee Bucks) made his fifth start of the season on Friday, as starting center Andrew Bogut sat out again, this time because of concussion symptoms. Gooden scored eight points with three rebounds, two assists and four turnovers in 22 minutes against the Dallas Mavericks (full stats here). The Mavericks won, 102-76, and the game (60-45 at half) was a bit of a blowout, so Gooden only played five second-half minutes (and none in the fourth quarter).
Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) put up 10 points in 31 minutes against the Denver Nuggets on Friday, but was held back by five personal fouls. Chalmers hit two threes and had two rebounds, two steals and two assists, but he also missed both technical free-throw attempts and lost the ball three times (twice on offensive fouls) as the Heat fell, 117-104, in Denver (full stats here).
Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) scored just three points, with no three-pointers, in 17 minutes against the New Jersey Nets on Friday. Markieff committed just one personal foul, but he also had just one rebound and three turnovers (full stats here). The Nets won, 110-103, as the Suns played without starters Steve Nash and Grant Hill.
Greg Ostertag (NBA D-League - Texas Legends) had five points and two rebounds in seven minutes on Friday (full stats here). The Legends lost, 118-115. NBCSports.com contributor Scott Schroeder, who watched Ostertag play in the D-League showcase in Vegas this past week, wrote that “judging by the opinions of those in attendance, it wouldn’t be crazy to see him back on an NBA roster this year.”
Brady Morningstar (NBA D-League - Tulsa 66ers) scored four points off 2 for 7 shooting (0-3 threes) on Friday. He added a rebound, an assist and a turnover in 21 minutes in a four-point loss (full stats here).
Former Jayhawk Rodrick Stewart, who left the Kosovo club KB Bashkimi Prizren in mid-December, has signed a contract to play in Australia in April. According to his Twitter, Stewart will be playing for the Bundaberg Radiology Bulls.
We asked Rodrick: Why Australia? Why Bundaberg? What will you bring to the program?
“I heard that it’s the country you would want to be in if you are away from home. My dad has taken numerous of trips to Australia and he always came back telling me that he could live there. I heard that the people in Bundaberg love basketball!!! I am going to bring that winning attitude and toughness to the team. I’m the type of person that doesn't do much talking I just lead by example on and off the court. I come from a very good loving family and treat my family and the organization that I play for that same way. Always humble”
On Friday, the Houston Chronicle’s Rockets beat writer, Jonathan Feigen, tweeted an update on Marcus Morris’ ankle injury (Marcus injured the ankle on Thursday, while he was playing for the D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers). According to Feigen, the ankle is sprained, and the injury could sideline Marcus for a week or two.
One of former Jayhawk Wilt Chamberlain’s longstanding NBA records fell on Thursday night. Chamberlain’s record for free throws attempted in a game (34 on Feb. 22, 1962) was eclipsed by Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, who took 39 free throws against the Golden State Warriors (and only hit 21 of those attempts or 53.8 percent, which explains why the Warriors kept fouling him). Chamberlain, by comparison, made 19 of his 34 attempts (55.8 percent). Different times, different rules, but Chamberlain also scored 61 points in that game, while Howard had just 45 on Thursday.
Wilt the Stilt still holds the all-time NBA record for MADE free throws in a game — 28 of 32 attempts on March 2, 1962, when he set the scoring record with 100 points.
6 p.m., Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors vs. the Charlotte Bobcats
6 p.m., Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics vs. the Indiana Pacers
7 p.m., Josh Selby and the Memphis Grizzlies vs. Xavier Henry (day-to-day, ankle) and the New Orleans Hornets
7 p.m., Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the New York Knicks