Pierce overcomes pain to play hero

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Pierce overcomes pain to play hero

BOSTON -- After playing 43 minutes and scoring a game-high 30 points, Paul Pierce assessed his health at 81.6 percent, down from his recent calculation of 83.7.

My hip is bothering me right now, he said, noting that he strained it during the game.

The Celtics captain showed no signs of it late in the C's gritty 91-89 win against the New York Knicks on Friday night at the TD Garden.

Doc Rivers contemplated taking Pierce out earlier in the game, but the determined Celtics captain began hitting a rhythm his coach couldnt ignore. Pierce was getting in the zone, a mindset he slips into when shots seem to come naturally and the basket seems wide open.

I think my concentration level, my focus really goes up later in the game, he said. You think about so many times youve been in this situation before and it almost comes natural, just being there, not really feeling too much of the pressure. You try to relax and play the game and let it come to you. When those shots are there, you try not to rush it. When youve been there so many times, it really comes naturally for me.

Pierce scored a game-high 30 points, including four three-pointers and 10 free throws. His trey with 1:29 left in the third quarter cut the Knicks lead to seven and kicked off a 12-5 run in which the Celtics tied the game in the fourth and took over the lead.

Even though Pierce's three-point attempt with less than 15 seconds to play was reviewed and called a no basket -- I thought it was off my hand before the buzzer went off, but ref made a judgment call. I havent seen the replay, he said -- his energy carried the Celtics through their comeback.

Paul carried us, said Ray Allen. Paul, he was awesome. The couple shots I made, its almost like it was a breath of fresh air for Paul because he was carrying us. And with them, you feel like you stop something theyre doing and then you start getting hit from the other side. It does take the pressure off of Paul and he can continue doing what he does. But also, theyve softened up a little bit because theyre getting attacked from that strong side and they tend to want to help. Kevins getting shots and then I slide in there and Rondos cutting. So its a well-oiled machine for us. Weve just got to make sure we continue to oil it.

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons will retire the jersey number of former UConn star Rip Hamilton tonight, an instrumental figure in the Pistons’ success in the early 2000s that included an NBA title in 2004.
 
Although Hamilton never played for Boston, his impact can be felt within the Celtics locker room.
 
Boston’s Amir Johnson spent his first four NBA seasons as a teammate of Hamilton's in Detroit.
 
In that time, Johnson acknowledges how many of the positive things folks associate with him come from lessons he learned from Hamilton.
 
“He was so relentless when he ran,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I remember working out with him one summer. For him to even get his shot off, he sprints full court, goes back down shooting shots, and he just kept doing this over and over and over again, full court sprinting . . . To see that as a young kid, and at his age, just working hard like that, it was great to see.”
 
James Young grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., so he watched Hamilton’s scoring prowess up close and personal.
 
And as he continued to evolve as a player, Young would see Hamilton during the summer months while attending Hamilton’s basketball camps.
 
“I was there every year, won MVP a few times,” Young told CSNNE.com. “He’s a great guy, a great player.”
 
And, like Hamilton, Young has a lanky frame for an NBA player, which was among the many reasons Young acknowledged Hamilton as being one of his first significant basketball influences as a youth.
 
“For sure,” Young said. “His mid-range game was crazy, great shooter. He was always consistent.”
 
And that consistency has paid off in the highest honor an NBA franchise can bestow upon a player.
 
“That’s big time,” Johnson said. “He’s a champion, great father, great baller. To have his jersey retired is an honor. To see the success he had in the league, and to see his jersey retired with the greats, it's definitely an honor. I’m glad I’ll be there to see that. Kudos to him. He’s a hard worker. Had a great career. I had my high school jersey retired, but to get your NBA jersey retired, that’s great.”
 
Hamilton played 14 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the Pistons. A career 17.1 points per game score, he averaged 18.4 with Detroit and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star three times (2006-2008).
 
Although he is known as one of the greatest mid-range shooters of his era, Hamilton began to expand his range over time. During the 2005-06 season, Hamilton shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range (most of them being corner 3’s), which led the NBA that season.  

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Pistons

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