Record night for Pierce and KG

Record night for Pierce and KG
March 14, 2013, 3:30 pm
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Paul Pierce and KG both made history last night against Toronto. Pierce cracked the top 20 on the all-time scoring list, while Garnett made it into the top 15.

(Ap Images)

As you’re well aware by now, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce made headlines last night by becoming the first two players in recent history to bring relevance to a post-All Star Break Celtics/Raptors game.

Garnett made his mark by passing Jerry West for 15th on the NBA all-time scoring list. For his part, Pierce passed Sir Charles Barkley to enter the Top 20. For his part, Sebastian Telfair freaked out on a ref and earned his first ejection of the year.

But for now, let’s just stick with the big guns.

As Garnett and Pierce were being celebrated for their all-time scoring achievements, there was one question weighing heavy on mind.

Just kidding. It wasn’t heavy at all. Still, I was curious: Now that the pair has respectively entered the Top 15 and 20, are they in any danger of being knocked out themselves? After all, neither guy has THAT many points left in the old tank, and if there was another active player close behind, it might not be long before someone does to Pierce what he just did to Barkley.

So, I checked the records, and . . . well, it’s going to be interesting.

Here’s a list of the 20 active leading scorers after KG, including their current all-time rank and point total. 

15.     Kevin Garnett         25201
18.     Dirk Nowitzki        24678
20.     Paul Pierce             23763
22.     Ray Allen               23605
23.     Tim Duncan           23457
28.     Vince Carter           21958
35.     LeBron James         20717
39.     Antawn Jamison     19780
57.     Tracy McGrady       18381
71.     Jason Kidd             17445
72.     Carmelo Anthony   17358
79.     Steve Nash            17168
80.     Jason Terry            17146
81.     Grant Hill               17128
86.     Shawn Marion        16439
88.     Jerry Stackhouse    16357
91.     Dwyane Wade        16274
94.     Elton Brand            16187
95.     Juwan Howard        16138
97.     Rasheed Wallace    16004

First of all, I should note that KG’s only 79 points behind Reggie Miller for 14th place; meaning he’s only a week or so away from gaining an important Top 15 cushion. I say all-important because we all know it’s just a matter of time before LeBron shoots passed everyone on this list. He’s the only active player guaranteed for the Top 10. So while’s KG will soon be No. 14, in terms of legit longevity, he’ll still be 15. So, in that same light, Pierce is really 21.

Confused yet? Good, let’s move on.

The biggest threat to KG’s time in the Top 15 is clearly Dirk, who’s only 523 points behind Garnett. He won’t catch him this year, but if KG hangs them up, then Dirk will pass him sometime next winter. If KG returns, he may be able to hold him off . . . until Dwyane Wade or, most likely, Carmelo Anthony makes his run in five or so years.
As for Pierce’s Top 20 status: He needs 606 to pass Allen Iverson for 19th place, and earn his LeBron insurance. After that, assuming he stays healthy and doesn’t retire, the Truth should be able to hold off Tim Duncan and Ray and stick around the Top 20 for a couple years until Wade or Melo knocks him off.
As for Telfair: He now has three career ejections, and needs 29 more to surpass Rasheed Wallace for the all-time NBA lead. Stay tuned.