Paul Pierce dominates with near-triple-double
34 points. 10 assists. Eight rebounds.
It’s safe to say that Paul Pierce still has it.
The Boston Celtics star was thisclose to a triple-double on Sunday as he willed a short-handed Celtics squad to a 100-94 victory over the hometown Washington Wizards. He shouldered the load on a day when point guard Rajon Rondo sat out and shooting guard Ray Allen left with an injury. Pierce shot the ball well (10-15 FG, 2-5 3PFG, 12-15 FT) and had a sensational fourth quarter, where he scored 10 straight points in a four-minute span. Pierce played 36 minutes and also had three steals and five turnovers (full stats here).
Best of all for Boston/Pierce fans, The Truth looked back to his old self, setting season-highs in points, assists, steals and tying his season-high for rebounds. From ESPNBoston.com:
Pierce's comfort level on the floor Sunday can't be overstated. Sure, this performance came against a handful of players not known for their defense, but Pierce's classic mid-range game, which has been all but absent this season, was back in full form, and he utilized it expertly to repeatedly sink the Wizards.
- Things fell apart for Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) on Sunday. Chalmers hit only 4 of 14 shots, coughed up six turnovers (after having zero the night before), injured his knee and committed a “cheap shot” flagrant foul in the final minute of a 91-82 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. He scored 12 points, with two rebounds and two assists, in 34 minutes (full stats here).
It wouldn’t be a Heat game without a highlight, though:
- Drew Gooden (Milwaukee Bucks) had two points, three rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes as the Bucks beat the Miami Heat, 91-82 (full stats here).
Other Jayhawk pros
Brady Morningstar (NBA D-League - Tulsa 66ers) was due for an off night. After four good-to-great games in a row, Morningstar couldn’t get his shot going on Sunday night and made just 4 of 12 attempts for 10 points. He added two rebounds, three steals, a block and three assists to three turnovers in 43 minutes — his second 40-minute stint in as many nights (full stats here).
Keith Langford (Israeli Premier League - Maccabi Electra) scored just eight points with four assists and a rebound in 24 minutes on Saturday (full stats here). His team (16-1 in the Adriatic League) won its fifth league game in a row.
Marcus Morris (Houston Rockets/Rio Grande Valley Vipers) told the Houston Chronicle that he could be 100-percent healed from an ankle injury by next week. Marcus sprained his ankle in a game with the D-League Vipers on Jan. 12. He has been rehabbing in Houston since then but said:
“(The Rockets) haven’t told me anything yet,” Morris said. “Hopefully I’ll stay here (in Houston). I feel like I’ve done my part down there. They might still want me to play because I was out.
Jayhawks in upcoming NBA games
6:30 p.m., NBATV, Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics vs. the Orlando Magic
7 p.m., Kirk Hinrich (shoulder injury) and the Atlanta Hawks vs. Drew Gooden and the Milwaukee Bucks
7 p.m., Xavier Henry (ankle injury) and the New Orleans Hornets vs. the San Antonio Spurs
7 p.m., Nick Collison, Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Detroit Pistons
7:30 p.m., Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns vs. the Dallas Mavericks
9:30 p.m., NBATV, Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors vs. Josh Selby and the Memphis Grizzlies