BOSTON Even though most of the focus coming into Tuesday night's game was on Paul Pierce and his surpassing Boston Celtics great Larry Bird for the No. 2 spot on the franchise's all-time scorers list, the Celtics did have to actually play a game.
And the Charlotte Bobcats, as bad as they have been all season, were not simply going to show up and get thumped.
Once Pierce and the Celtics got past his record-climbing night in the third quarter, Boston took firm control of the game and came away with a 94-84 win.
Boston (14-10) extended its winning streak to a season-best five in a row. Kevin Garnett turned in yet another stellar game, finishing with 22 points on 10-for-15 shooting along with seven rebounds.
Ray Allen got it going in the second half, which is when he scored 15 of his 17 points. And then there was Rajon Rondo doing what Rondo does best - rack up double-doubles. He had 10 points and 13 assists for his fourth double-double this season.
And then there was the man of the night, Paul Pierce.
He needed 10 points to surpass Bird for the No. 2 spot on the C's all-time scorer's list. Pierce finished with 15 points, and now has a career total of 21,797 points. He also had eight rebounds and nine assists, coming within a play or two of his first triple-double this season.
As for the Bobcats (3-22), losers of 12 in a row now, former UConn star Kemba Walker had a solid return to New England with 16 points and seven rebounds.