Garnett, Pierce savor their record-setting time together

Garnett, Pierce savor their record-setting time together
March 14, 2013, 10:00 am
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C E L T I C S  P L A Y O F F  P I C T U R E 
in Eastern Conference

BOSTON — Celtics Nation was making its way towards the exits at the TD Garden as the final seconds of Boston's 112-88 thumping of Toronto was nearing its completion.

Near the Celtics bench there was Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, laughing, joking, playfully pointing upwards at the Jumbotron as images of Gino and all those other dancers from the TV dance show in the 1970s, American Bandstand, were on display for anyone willing to crane their neck towards the sky just a little bit.

But for Garnett and Pierce, the pickings are getting slimmer and slimmer for players they have to look up to statistically with Wednesday's game being another one in which each reached new milestones.

For Garnett, he passed Jerry West for the No. 15 spot on the NBA's all-time scorer's list. He had 12 points against the Raptors, giving him 25,201 for his career.

Meanwhile, Pierce passed Charles Barkley for 20th all-time in scoring. Pierce, who had 15 points, now has 23,763. In addition, Pierce passed Allen Iverson and is now 10th all-time in free throws made with 6,377.

During all of the milestones achieved Wednesday, an announcement was made during the first time-out by the public address announcer regarding their latest accomplishment.

"It just feels like every game we're clapping," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "It feels like one of those two, or JET (Jason Terry), somebody's passing something. Every night."

But the accomplishments have even more significance because of how interwoven these two were well before they became Celtics.

"What you all don't know is that Paul and I have history and it's only right that we come in here and we make history together," Garnett said.

Garnett went on to talk about as youths how he and Pierce would be in Pierce's home as 13 and 14-year-olds "tearing up his mom's living room, breaking vases, almost getting ass whooped . . . then finally being able to follow our dreams, McDonald's (All-Americans), having some duration together, trying to go to the same school then obviously going different paths then finally meeting up here in Boston, winning a championship (in 2008), doing the things we've been doing since we've been here."

Pierce has spent his entire NBA career as a Celtic, and will eventually have his jersey No. 34 retired to the rafters at the Garden.

And while he's knee-deep in trying to help the C's gain the best playoff seeding as possible, this latest milestone is not one that he takes for granted.

"I just come here night-in and night-out and do the things that I do to make history," Pierce said. "I'm happy. And when you pass a guy like Barkley, one of the greatest players that ever played the game, says a lot."

And Barkley, as we all know, says a lot which for Pierce, made passing him on the scorer's list even sweeter.

"He always talks a lot of smack about us, so I'm happy that was him," Pierce said.

And he's happy to see his good friend Garnett continue to climb not just the all-time scoring leader charts, but a host of other categories as well, further validating Garnett has one of the game's greatest all-around talents.

"Kevin could accomplish anything he ever wanted to do because he has that will, that determination," Pierce said. "For him to be where hes at is pretty remarkable because it's more than just scoring -- he's tops in so many other categories that it's unbelievable. He's a once-in-a-generation type of player. Not a lot of people get to play with that type of player so I'm fortunate that I've been able to play with him these last five, six years."

And Rivers is glad to have had an opportunity to coach both Garnett and Pierce who will someday after their playing careers are over, enter the Hall of Fame.

While Rivers has been credited for being one of the NBA's better coaches, he doesn't hesitate in acknowledging how having players like Garnett and Pierce have made him -- and would make any coach for that matter -- look smarter.

"There's no doubt about that and I am honest about that," Rivers said. "They make you so much better of a coach than what you are, because you have guys who make a bad play look good, sometimes. I don't know how many bad plays I've called that Paul has scored on because he's a professional scorer. Or Kevin has bailed you out with a great play. It could be passing or shooting. That's why they are so good. And that's why the teams they play on win."